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Name the three countries that ZenithOptimedia predicts will be the fastest-growing ad markets by percentage growth from 2006 to 2009. Not even your ad agency friends are likely to get that question right.

I have always taken umbrage with any company that forecasts global advertising expenditures by medium and leaves out Yellow Pages. However, this October report, according to a research brief from The Center for Media Research, leads with the headline, “Olympics, Online Video and Local Search to Drive Global Ad Spending.” What that means is that television will increase its worldwide market share to more than 38 percent despite losing share in both North America and Western Europe.

While television will see the largest growth in terms of absolute dollars, the largest percent will be in Internet advertising, which will jump from $19 billion in 2005 to more than $48 billion by 2009. While the brief doesn’t provide details of the growth, it does say, “Online video and local search are the new, fast-growing segments,” (driving 30 percent of the Internet ad growth).

It is meaningful that local search is recognized as a category of Internet advertising and that ZenithOptimedia has chosen to single it out as a growth business. It barely existed just a few years ago.

Because of the economic conditions in the United States, U.S. ad spending growth is expected to be only 2.5 percent. Still we are better off than Serbia, Qatar and Kazakhstan.

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