2017’s first quarter was quiet for ad spending in France as advertisers pulled back from most media types in advance of the country’s pending presidential election.
During the first three months of this year, traditional media ad spending dipped by 2.5% year over year to just shy of €1.96 billion ($2.17 billion), according to data from France Pub, Institut de Recherches et d’Etudes Publicitaires (IREP) and Kantar Media. By comparison, traditional media ad investment rose 0.4% year over year in the first quarter of 2016.
Lower spending on traditional media formats during Q1 2017 was “predictable,” according to the trio’s report, “Le Marché Publicitaire au 1er Trimestre 2017.” It noted that political events like the presidential election held in late April and early May of this year “are known to create a certain wait-and-see attitude” among advertisers.
Among the largest traditional media, TV spend dipped 0.8%, while print media slowed 5.0%, with a 1.2% gain in national newspaper ad outlays overpowered by a 9.0% drop in magazine spend. Also, mail dropped by 5.6%, radio fell by 3.7% and cinema advertising declined 14.1%.
In addition to a 1.9% increase in unaddressed printed advertising to €156 million ($172.6 million), the quarter’s few bright spots were gains by subcategories with relatively miniscule spending tallies, like TV sponsorship, up 19.0% to €44 million ($48.7 million); municipal print advertising, up 15.4% to €14 million ($15.5 million); and digital out-of-home (DOOH) spending, up 12.4% to €21 million ($23.2 million).
Whether traditional media ad spending will pick up in the second quarter remains to be seen, but eMarketer predicts only a modest gain in overall ad investment in France for 2017. Our most recent forecast predicts total media ad spending, which includes both traditional and digital media, will rise by just 0.7% to $11.43 billion (€10.33 billion) for the year, following a similarly lackluster gain of 0.6% in 2016.
However, digital ad investment is expected to grow 5.2% this year to $3.02 billion (€2.73 billion), propelling its share of total media ad spending to 26.4%.