Media Advertising Is Back—Sort of


When it comes to the advertising market, there's the good news, and then there's the bad news.

Since it's Friday the 13th, let's start with the good news: America's advertising market is coming back strong, especially when it comes to some media outlets.

That's according to Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of advertising giant WPP Group, who joined us on Squawk Boxtoday.

We saw signs of that recovery earlier this week when Disney reported earnings and said advertising rates for the scatter market were up 20 percent from the upfronts. Sorrell says that strength is broad-based.

But that silver lining comes with a big black cloud, as well.

First, the rebound is a relative one, and we're coming off the worst downturn, Sorrell recalls, in his decades of business. He still says that this recovery will be a "slog," especially when it comes to Western Europe.

Secondly, he says, there's a huge amount of uncertainty among the corporate chieftains who decide how much of their budgets to spend on advertising.

("Unusual uncertainty" seems to be the buzz phrase du jour. Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke used it recently to describe the economy. And Cisco CEO John Chambers used it to describe his customers' outlookthis week after the company reported earnings.)

Sorrell says the uncertainty he sees is due to two factors: questions about the economy and questions about the policies to come from Washington.

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