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Field Reports

1 May, 2009 By: Thomas Haire, Jacqueline Renfrow Response

Group M Revises Its Media Spending Forecast

By Jacqueline Renfrow (

NEW YORK — WPP's Group M has revised its industry-wide measured-media spending forecast for 2009, reports Back in December, the company predicted a 0.2-percent drop for the industry, but now that number is expected to show a 4.4-percent drop to $425 billion.

Specifically in the United States, Group M has revised its predictions from a 3-percent drop to a 4.3-percent drop to $155 billion in measured media. Continuing in 2010, the industry could see another drop of 6.8 percent.

"The 2008/2009 period is now a more serious advertising recession, in scale, duration and relative to the global economy than the extraordinary 5.1-percent real-terms post-dot-com global advertising correction of 2001," says Adam Smith, futures director at Group M.

Rino Scanzoni, Group M's chief investment officer, said the drop in projections can be attributed to marketing budgets devised in the recession. Plus, he does not think the government's stimulus package will have an immediate affect on ad spending — not until consumer spending picks up and unemployment drops.

Around the globe, Western Europe is expecting a 6.7-percent drop in ad spending this year, much worse than the 1.7-percent fall predicted in December. Germany is proving to be the most resilient market in Western Europe. One of the few areas expecting growth is China, with a projection of 3.2-percent expansion (significantly lower than original projections of a 13 percent). Group M attributes the decline to "consumer retrenchment and a credit crunch in retail distribution, which government stimulus might alleviate."

Canoe Project to Launch This Quarter

By Jacqueline Renfrow (

WASHINGTON — Canoe Ventures LLC, the joint advertising venture of six major national cable distributors, announced it will launch a national enhanced television campaign, likely during May, that will allow viewers to request more information about the product with a remote control. This announcement, made at the 2009 Cable Show in April, is the first big move toward making the campaigns live since the company launched its venture a year ago.

Canoe — backed by Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable Inc., Cablevision Systems Corp., Charter Communications Inc., Cox Communications Inc. and Bright House Networks — is running the campaign on Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF), a CableLabs platform, that allows interactive applications to run on cable's digital set-top boxes. The first request for information application will be pop-ups during 30-second spots, with hopes of adding measurability and interactivity to the commercials. Canoe will supply EBIF templates to an initial set of programmers and networks. Comcast has already rolled out EBIF to 10 million Motorola boxes.

David Verklin, CEO of Canoe Ventures, spoke on a panel at the show and discussed how the product will allow advertisers to target specific messages to ad zones. Eventually, Canoe hopes to target more specifically with advertising, maybe even down to household or device level.

"In the industry, there are a lot of things we debate, but there is no debate about Canoe," says David Zaslav, CEO of Discovery Communications. "It's hard to raise your hand and say that having a platform you can customize isn't anything but a positive."

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