Universal McCann Cuts Ad Spending Forecast

Universal McCann sharply scaled back its outlook for U.S. advertising spending for 2007 Monday, forecasting growth of 0.7 percent compared with an earlier estimate of more than 3 percent.

Robert Coen, director of forecasting at Universal McCann, whose predictions are closely watched by the media industry, also said U.S. ad spending would grow at a rate of 3.7 percent in 2008. That's also down from an earlier forecast.

While stronger, Coen pointed out that the rise is "modest" given the year includes U.S. political elections and the Olympics. He said worldwide advertising growth would be 4.6 percent in 2008.

"Things don't look good, but they are not as bad as you might fear," he said. "I think they are going to get better, but not next year."