Media budgets are on the rise, finds WFA and Ebiquity annual research

Nov 7th '23

Neither global economies nor politics today are in a particularly stable position. But big brands are expecting to increase their budgets. A new WFA and Ebiquity study says that 60% of company representatives will increase their global media budgets in 2024 – with 14% saying they will make a significant increase, year on year.


This is a relatively dramatic increase compared to the same time last year, when just 29% of respondents said they expected to increase their annual budget. This budget increase comes despite 74% of respondents either agreeing or strongly agreeing that their 2024 media budget decisions are influenced by the economic climate.


The study is based on 92 company respondents, each spending $700 million on average. The total combined ad spend of all respondents represents approximately $500 billion.


“There is some cautious optimism returning to media spending and, predictably, the money is flowing towards digital. However, to enable longer-term digital market growth, we have to fix key issues of quality, transparency, responsibility, measurement and, importantly, sustainability. We call on the industry to rally around the steps outlined in the WFA’s new Media Charter. Fix the fundamentals to unlock growth.” –  Stephan Loerke, CEO WFA.


From transparency, to sustainability, safety, fraud, quality, sustainability and more, digital is, of course, also the area where most of the industry’s issues are concentrated. WFA’s Media Charter, published in April this year and reflecting the priorities of global media leaders, identifies the issues and points towards some solutions.


Unsurprisingly, digital is the main recipient of the likely spend increase. The WFA and Ebiquity study finds budget increases forecasted by 85% of advanced TV and 83% of digital video company respondents. At the other end of the spectrum, print is forecast to experience the greatest decrease in budget.


Reassuringly, respondents to this survey are making unilateral progress: 70% of respondents regularly review brand safety setting and lists. 27% of respondents began diversifying investments outside of ‘big tech’, in order to promote a more plural ecosystem.


Almost two fifths of respondents (37%) also hope to measure and reduce CO2 emissions from media activity.


“Once again this annual survey of major advertisers reveals fascinating insights into future investment intentions. With 60% of respondents planning to increase advertising budgets, we see a level of confidence that seems contradictory to the prevailing economic outlook. (…) With advertising typically seen as a two-quarter leading indicator of the wider economy, does this signify a recovery coming in mid-2024?”Nick Waters, CEO Ebiquity.


WFA member? Download the study here. Not a member? Download it here.


As covered by Business Insider.


Source & image: WFA


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