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Zenith Lowers Ad Growth Forecast

Media buyer Zenith has lowered its forecast for 2011 advertising spending growth to 2.1% from 2.5%.

Zenith is predicting increases of 3.5% in 2012 and 3.2% in 2013, but notes that the economy still has not returned to the level it was at before the recession, with high unemployment keeping consumers cautious. Neither has advertising recovered fully. "It will take several years for advertising spending to reach the level it was at in 2008.

The agency says TV ad dollars will continue to move from network to cable, with cable growing 10% in 2011, while broadcast is flat, thanks partly to the shift of college sports to cable. Cable will grow 9% in 2012 and 10% in 2013, according to Zenith, while broadcast is expected to decline 1% in 2012 despite the Olympics airing on NBC.

Spot TV is expected to rise by 4% in 2011, 8% in 2012, and 2% in 2013. Syndication is seen contracting 2% in 2011, 8% in 2012 and another 8% in 2013.

In 2011 Internet spending is expected to grow 12.6%, while newspapers, business publications and consumer magazines will decline.

Zenith also revised its forecast for global ad spending down, but only by 0.1% to 4.1% for 2011. That would put spending at $471 billion, the same level it was at before the 2009 recession. More robust growth is expected in2012 and 2013.