Global advertising spending is set to grow by 4.3 percent to $502 billion this year, a slightly slower rate than previously predicted, dragged down by Europe's ongoing debt crisis, according to market research group ZenithOptimedia.

ZenithOptimedia scaled back its growth forecasts for Asia to 6.7 percent from 7.4 percent in March, and it now sees growth in Latin America of 7.8 percent, instead of 9.2 percent.

Only North America is proving more resistant, with Zenith maintaining its forecast for 3.6 percent growth this year.
The effects of Europe's woes are being felt even in fast-growing emerging markets of Asia and Latin America.
Ad spending by big companies will get a boost this year from big events such as the London Olympics, the Euro 2012 football championships, and the U.S. presidential elections. The events are expected to add $6.3 billion to the global ad market, concentrated from June to November.

"The ad market slowed in April and May as advertisers became more cautious about the state of the global economy," ZenithOptimedia said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The Greek elections have revived fears of a euro zone breakup. … Economic growth has slowed across the developed world and recessions have deepened in Southern Europe."

As a result, ad spending will actually shrink by 1.1 percent in the 17 member states of the euro zone this year, with Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal being hit the hardest.

The forecasting group, which is part of advertising group Publicis, left its forecasts for 2013 and 2014 unchanged. It had previously seen growth this year of 4.8 percent

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