Depending on which part of the industry in which you operate, the media and marketing landscape may look pretty buoyant still But one of the top media investment analysts sees a very different story looming.
According to Pivotal’s Brian Wieser, the biggest marketers are now spending less in a drive to cut procurement costs – and that could affect the mood at upcoming Cannes Lions.
“We’re seeing that play out through depressed spending growth, certainly in the last quarter,” Wieser tells Beet.TV in this video interview.
“It’s going to be a year of pretty tepid growth. For the media owners, those who are concentrated with large marketers, national TV … I actually forecast slightly negative growth this year.”
What lays behind the bearish forecast? It’s not just the gravitational pull of Facebook and Google. Rather, Wieser sees a confluence of both procurement cost cuts and a new approach to accounting.
“Marketing procurement drives everything, especially when it come stop large brands these days,” he says. “They need to drive costs down one way or another. That got much more aggressive in the last year.
“Layered on top of that is zero-based budgeting, (which means) ‘forget about what ever you (spent) last year, let’s look at everything from scratch’. It necessarily tends to mean lower spending on marketing and paid media.
“The two things coming together are having a really negative impact on the growth of the industry. It is having a depressive effect on all media in general. The shadow over the industry is going to continue for the foreseeable future.”
So Wieser expects a “sour mood” to descent on the upcoming Cannes Lions, the ad industry’s annual celebration of creativity in the south of France.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal also reported ad agencies are cutting costs, as “most ad holding companies are facing political and economic uncertainties, soft first-quarter earnings results and spending cuts by their clients”.
It says WPP wants to spend 25% less on Cannes attendance, Interpublic plans to shave 10% off its Cannes budget, while Dentsu Aegis is curtailing hiring and pay, citing “market weakness” and “clear signs of a slowdown.”
We interviewed him last week at the LUMA Partner’s annual Digital Media Summit.