Ikon CEO predicts rapid decline in newspaper ad spend

By Duncan Craig | 14 August 2012

Ikon Communications national chief Dan Johns has argued the newspaper advertising business is only going to get worse, with earlier predictions of growth overstated.

Johns said the overall market was still relatively subdued, and growth for 2012 would be minimal, at 1.5%. That's in contrast to industry wide forecasts at the start of the year of a 5% jump in media bookings.

There would be no overall pick-up in the second half of the year, and the London Olympics could actually result in ad spends being held back until September.

Johns also said the retreat from traditional newspaper ad spending is likely to pick up speed.

“You would have to say that newspapers have the most to lose and digital has the most to gain,” Johns said. “I would imagine there would be a fairly big swing over the next couple of years. You could look at a 6% swing in money for newspapers into digital over a reasonably short period of time.”

Over the past four years, newspaper bookings have seen its share drop from 21% to 16%, while digital has risen from 8% to 14%.

Examining data from Standard Media Index (SMI), which tracks about 75% of total media agency spend, Johns said search had increased by 31% in the past year. He predicted that the fastest growing digital ad segments are likely to be automotive, retail and FMCG.

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