Carat 2012 Forecast – The Year Of Opportunity

We stand at the beginning of what we believe will be a year of amazing challenge and
opportunity, not just for media itself, but also for the way in which businesses and brands
communicate with their customers.

There is much to look forward to across the Irish media landscape. The digital TV
switchover
will finally happen in late October, bringing another 1 in 4 of the population
into the market for additional broadcast options on SKY, UPC or Saorview. Netflix, the US
movie streaming service, has already added more choices to Irish households and we will
also see the arrival of a new video-on-demand service from UPC.

Social media continues to spread its tentacles across the Irish media market. This is now
being accompanied by the explosive growth of mobile as a media channel in its own right,
thanks to the adoption of the smartphone by over one-third of Irish mobile users and the
advent of the ‘branded app’ as another route to engage.

As the lines between ‘new’ and ‘old’ media blur, other media owners will also be keen to
grab their share of the digital dividend that has seen spending across online media rise by
over 20% in 2011.

Of course, there will be major challenges for all stakeholders along the way. The market
will be watching to see the impact of the demise of share trading by RTÉ.
Of greater concern are the plans for imposed legislation designed to curtail the promotion
of alcohol, alongside a growing lobby for taxes on foods containing sugar and fats, which
could have longer term consequences for indigenous and international brands alike.
All of these developments will happen within the context of a harsh economic climate for
people living and working here and the calamitous state of the eurozone. Ireland is still
going through an unprecedented fiscal crisis that is affecting every individual, household
and business to some degree.

Advertising and commercial activity thrives on optimism and we are optimistic that there
are many brand owners, media channel providers and agencies like ourselves with the
enthusiasm, creative spirit and strategic capabilities to help the local economy to grow
again.

Carat expects media spending to stabilise in 2012 and we are forecasting a modest
decline of 2% to an annual spend of €753 million with some media naturally doing better
than others. As we outline in this edition of our annual media forecast, there have never
been more opportunities to plan, act and engage with customers through the new and
established range of media channels in creative and original ways. As Ireland’s largest
media agency, be assured that Carat is committed to harnessing its range of Irish and
international resources to ensure that our clients reinvent new ways to build their brands
through media in 2012.

We hope you find the full document useful. If you wish to discuss any of the topics raised,
please call me on 01 271 2139.

Best wishes for the year ahead.

Ciaran Cunningham –  Chief Executive

As always, if you have any opinions- supporting or conflicting- on this post or related matters we’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to post replies below.

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