Global ad spend grew in 2012

After the disastrous collapse of 2009, global advertising revenue is again on the rise.

That’s according to Worldwatch Institute’s Vital Signs Online service, which found that the 9.6 per cent drop suffer in 2009 in the aftermath of the global banking meltdown has been partially reversed thanks to a 3.3 per cent climb in 2012, with global ad revenue reaching $497.3bn.

Internet advertising now accounts for 18 per cent of that total thanks to huge growth in social media and online video.

US advertising spend grew 4.3 per cent, accounting for a third of the worldwide total. The fastest growth was seen in Asia Pacific where spend jumped 7.9 per cent while Western Europe declined 2.2 per cent – the only region to suffer a fall.

"As consumers grow overexposed to advertising, traditional forms such as television commercials, print advertising, and billboards are becoming less effective," the study’s author Shakuntala Makhijani stated.

"As a result, advertisers are turning to more subtle techniques, such as promotional material on blogs, product placement, and interactive advertising on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The distinction between advertising and media content is therefore increasingly blurred."

Elsewhere in the report it also identifies evidence suggesting a detrimental effect on childhood development for youngsters exposed to targeted advertising.

The impacts of advertising and consumerism on all aspects of society and culture are well documented. Advertising targeted at children is particularly penetrating and influential, defining their identity as consumers from an early age and interfering with normal childhood development,” it states.

Evidence has shown that children are experiencing increased physical, emotional, and social harm as a result of consumerism through advertising. US consumer advocates continue to call for limits on the extent and influence of advertising, especially in environments such as health clinics and public spaces as well as advertising specifically targeted at children.”

Image source: Curbly

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