LONDON– Brian Wieser, global president of business intelligence at GroupM and former securities analyst, predicts that political advertising in the US will spike to $10 billion in 2020, a 45% increase from 2018. Even that, he says, might be conservative: Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a late Democratic nominee entrant, has already pumped nine figures into the total by spending $31 million on his campaign so far.

TV stands to be the biggest beneficiary, Wieser tells Furious Corp. CEO Ashley Swartz for Beet.TV at the Future of TV Ads global forum. The bump will be spread across national and local distributors as well as other forms of media.

Political advertising gains are specific to US growth. Wieser has said that the category distorts global forecast figures. In GroupM’s global media forecast for 2020, published on December 9, the firm predicts an overall deceleration of global advertising.

“A lot of economic forces that are impacting the global economy are impacting advertising as well,” says Wieser, adding that most countries around the world are seeing meaningful deceleration and while the US and UK have held up, about a dozen markets are expected to decline. “Global trade wars, the deficit in the US, capital expenditures and weakening production – there are a lot of negative factors going on right now.”

It may be some consolation to the ad industry, then, that deceleration of growth is due to macroeconomics and not industry-specific factors. Wieser points to GDPR as an example of an industry-specific disruption that had “almost no effect on spending.”

Instead, advertising firms should look at their national economic landscapes to predict whether or not they’ll see growth in the next year.

“To the extent that the advertising economy in general is correlated in any given country with economic factors, we see slowing economic conditions in those countries,” says Wieser. “People around the world are making forecasts for their country, we see this in the advertising forecast as well.”

This video was produced in London at the Future of TV Ads Global forum in December 2019.   This series is sponsored by Finecast, the global addressable TV company that is part of WPP.   For more videos from the series, please visit this page.