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Canadian advertisers focus on digital as media spend projected to increase to C$11.3 billion

12 Jan 2018

Toronto (January 12, 2018) Dentsu Aegis Network published 2018 Ad Spend Forecasts, based on data received from 59 global markets including Canada where the research presents a media spend that is relatively stable with spend projected to grow by +1.1%, up from 0% in 2017. 

The main drivers of growth are digital (+9%) and OOH (+6%). All other media types are expected to decline year-on-year including TV (-4%). Sporting and political events in 2018 will continue to drive live streaming and partnership content rights with YouTube, Facebook and Twitter as they battle for exclusivity and ‘moments’ driven advertising.

“The latest spend forecasts support a market in transformation as advertisers aim to engage in people-based marketing to drive relevance, addressability and business growth,” said Annette Warring, CEO Dentsu Aegis Network Canada.  “With a digital economy focus, we drive relevance for clients by targeting customers across mobile, voice and new tech opportunities.”

The trends in 2018 reflect increasing digital spend and include:

  • Digital media channels will continue to power spend growth, globally by 12.6%, versus 15% in 2017, to reach C$275.9 billion
  • Mobile will reach C$151.7 billion having overtaken desktop. Desktop will continue to lose global share (-1.5% since 2016), versus mobile’s gains (8.2% since 2016)
  • Digital (38.3%) overtakes TV (35.5%), by a margin now exceeding previous forecasts
  • Paid search accounts for the lion’s share (40%), with voice-activated devices powering growth. Amazon's Alexa and Google’s Home apps topped Android and iPhone downloads during Christmas Day 2017
  • Video (24.5%) and social (23.5%) will also drive growth, powered by smartphone take-up and mobile-video
  • Programmatic spend will rise by 23% as established players and startups compete over ad tech

Across global markets including the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa, global media spend growth is forecast to grow 3.6% in 2018 to hit C$738.3 billion, up from 3.1% in 2017. Events will play an important role in 2018, with the Winter Olympics & Paralympics in South Korea, FIFA World Cup in Russia and the congressional elections in the US all expected to stimulate spend.

Table: Forecast ad spend growth rates by region and country 

Figures in brackets show our previous forecasts from June 2017

Download full report here


About Dentsu Aegis Network Canada

Dentsu Aegis Network Canada Innovates the Way Brands Are Built for clients through best-in-class capabilities in media, digital, data and creative communications services. The network’s focus on the digital economy and the distinctive products and services are delivered through agencies Amnet, Amplifi, Carat, Cardinal Path, DentsuBos, dentsu media, D2D, GRIP, ICUC, iProspect, Isobar, MKTG, The StoryLab, Vizeum and 360i. As one of the top ten global Dentsu Aegis markets, the Canadian team is headquartered in Toronto and serves clients through a national network of offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Saint John and Halifax with more than 1,400 dedicated specialists. 

For further information contact:

Claudia Gervais
Director of Communications
T: 514.778.9870

Press coverage:

Media in Canada, Dentsu Aegis dials back ad spending projections (PDF)

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