Brian Wieser

GroupM’s Business Intelligence team says it looks like advertising demand worldwide is rebounding from its pandemic-era downturn, MediaPost reports.

“Global advertising is improving,” GroupM Business Intelligence Global President Brian Wieser writes in an update published over the weekend. Wieser’s update notes that spending is “even going positive in some markets,” and that things are looking better for TV-centric global media companies.

At the Italy-based Mediaset, he says, underlying trends were described as positive in August and September. And that’s even excluding the Champions League soccer games in the current quarter’s schedule.

“Discovery conveyed similar trends internationally,” Wieser writes, “as they stated that ‘some markets are now trending positively.’ The U.S. has also improved but is unlikely to turn positive for them this quarter. Ad revenues were down only by single digits in August, with the current quarter tracking toward a 10% domestic decline overall.”

Wieser’s update cites “new data” that allows the media investment company to compare ad-spending and macroeconomic trends with greater precision. His latest analysis, MediaPost notes, observes that “worse economic conditions don’t by themselves cause worse outcomes in advertising.”

Wieser also says the steady proliferation of e-commerce is giving a boost to digital ad spending. A recent analysis from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) sees digital ad spending rising 6% this year, despite an 8% drop in overall ad spending.

Behavioral factors, rather than economic activity alone, help explain cuts to advertising, according to GroupM. But other factors are still in the mix, including shifts of spending to other network groups or shifts to digital or other media.

“Recognizing this is an oversimplification,” Wieser writes, “a takeaway is that a 40% decline in advertising is roughly what happens when the large brands that tend to dominate television look to stop as much spending as possible for a brief period of time and all but a handful of categories gradually return to normalcy.”

Wieser says local television has seen similar trends in the U.S., where local TV “is generally as cancellable as most major European TV networks are.”

He continues: “This contrasts with the U.S. national TV networks, whose second-quarter ad revenue declines were likely in the high 20% range and where Upfront commitments from the prior year make harsher cuts harder to make on a short-term basis.”