Lévy upbeat about ad revenues

Publicis Groupe chairman and chief executive Maurice Lévy has said he expects 2008 to be a record year for advertising and marketing services revenues in the UK.

The prediction comes after the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising revealed that the last three quarters of 2007 saw the most significant drop in ad budgets for two years.

Lévy told Radio Four’s Today programme this morning that the outlook for 2008 remains positive.

This downturn in advertising spend, he says, was caused by ‘the subprime crisis, which had a direct effect, and the psychology of CEOs. But, more importantly, what we see in Q4 is mostly what I would call an adjustment. You have probably had, in the first three quarters of 2007, a record year in terms of rate of growth, and in Q4, some disappointment in the profitability of some corporations as well as some slowdown in sales led to some cuts, which were unexpected’.

Lévy says he expects 2008 to be a record year for marketing serivces because of the Olympic Games, the US elections and the European football championships.

‘You have some things in the UK which are very positive,’ he says. ‘It is still a very strong economy with one of the lowest rates of unemployment in Europe, as well as some very positive indicators in terms of business profitability’.

‘There is a little concern for 2009 and we expect it to be slightly down compared to 2008, but we don’t expect at all, based on the information we have, for 2009 to slow down dramatically,’ Levy concludes.

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