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Digital Ad Spending in Mexico Soars amid Slower TV Growth

Digital ad spending to register double-digit annual growth rates through 2017

July 23, 2013 | Media Buying

Online ad revenues growth in Mexico continued to gain speed for a third consecutive year, according to a June 2013 Interactive Advertising Bureau México (IAB México) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report. After dropping from an impressive 91% growth in 2008, the expansion has exceeded 30% each year since 2009, reaching MXN6.4 billion ($486 billion) in 2012, when it registered a solid 38% improvement.

eMarketer benchmarks its digital ad spending estimates, which include online and mobile ad spending, against IAB México figures. For the year 2012, digital ad spending amounted to $542.2 billion. Boosted by a growing smartphone user base that will represent 45% of all mobile phone users in 2014 and TV broadcasters’ plans to live-stream FIFA World Cup matches via online and mobile properties that year, digital ad spending will nearly double to break the $1 billion mark for the first time by next year.

But not all news has been positive in the advertising industry in Mexico. According to a June 2013 ZenithOptimedia report provided to eMarketer by Starcom MediaVest Group, TV ad spending registered negative changes of 4.8% and 5.6%, respectively, in 2011 and 2012.

The ZenithOptimedia finding, while an outlier, reflects a slowdown consensus over TV ad spending in Mexico. In June 2012 PwC estimated that TV ad spending will post single digit growth rates between 2011 and 2013—down from 23.8% in 2010—until 2014 when double digit rates (22.8%) will return. Similarly, a December 2012 GroupM estimate also predicted that growth in the category will remain in the single digits through 2013.

Despite the recent slowdown, TV advertising is set to rebound this year and will certainly keep taking in the bulk of advertising dollars in Mexico, especially considering that 94.9% of households in Mexico had a TV in 2012, according to Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) data. By comparison, only 32.2% of households had a computer and a lower 26% had an internet connection.

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