Russia and India will record the strongest growth in advertising spend over the coming year, according to the latest Warc international ad forecast. It predicts that Russia will increase expenditure by 16.5%, followed by India (14.0 percent), China (11.5 percent) and Brazil (8.5 percent). The picture is very different outside the BRIC quartet, especially in Europe, where three countries – Germany (1 percent), France (0.8 percent) and Italy (-0.2 percent) – are now expected to record the worst year-on-year performances. All three economies are facing the possibility of renewed recession due to the eurozone debt crisis. Taking into account the likelihood of inflation, all three countries are likely to see a decline in advertising spend in 2012. The forecast for the UK is more positive, with predicted growth of 4.2 percent. But Warc, the marketing intelligence service, points out that the figure will be boosted by two sporting events – the London Olympics and European football championships. As for the United States, which is forecast to see a 4.1 percent increase in ad spend, its TV broadcasters will undoubtedly benefit from the presidential election. Indeed, across all 12 countries covered by the survey, TV is predicted to increase its share of main media advertising, growing by 5.3 percent compared to the overall media total of 4.5 percent. As for online advertising, the pace of expansion is expected to slow to 12.6 percent this year, down from an estimated 16.6 percent in 2011. The internet is expected to account for 20 percent of all media spend by the end of 2012.
In conjunction with Twitter and the CFJ journalism school (Centre de Formation des Journalistes), the international newswire Agence France-Presse (APF) has launched a YouTube channel dedicated to covering the 2012 French presidential elections. The channel hosts videos posted by political parties and tracks candidate popularity, but its main feature is an interface in which viewers can submit questions to candidates. The questions are then posed in interviews held by journalism students from CFJ. According to an article in Le Point, the channel is based on the American original “YouTube YouChoose08” election channel, which allowed viewers to post videos asking questions and candidates to post responses as well as campaign videos. However, the American press did not run the American presidential channel- YouTube created it. The APF’s election channel is considerably more controlled. The interviews are organized in two-week intervals, and journalism students act as the mediator between the viewers’ questions and the candidates. Furthermore, Le Point reported that other videos on the channel are uploaded by the APF or other news partners of YouTube, including France 24, Euronews, and BFM TV. The channel’s role is informative with interactive elements, but its content remains controlled by the press rather than YouTube users
Google Inc has pledged to change rules and procedures for its keyword advertising policy in France to settle an investigation by the French antitrust regulator and stave off a possible fine. The Autorite de la Concurrence had been investigating Google since June after French GPS and smartphone data services company Navx accused the world’s No. 1 search engine company of abusing its dominant position by scrapping its AdWords contract. The AdWords service, where Google sells keywords that trigger advertisements, is the heart of the company’s USD 23bn online advertising operations and a pillar of commerce for Internet service providers. The French watchdog said on Thursday that Google’s binding commitments, which are valid for three years, were sufficient to address its competition concerns. Google said the watchdog had made “no finding of dominance or monopoly abuse.” As part of its pledge, Google will give three months notice when it changes its policy related to specific products in France.
Social networks are continuing to gain ground in France, where this channel is playing an increasingly important role in shaping purchase decisions. According to figures from Médiamétrie and l’Observatoire, the number of individuals visiting services such as Facebook has climbed by 4.2m in the last 12 months, to 20.3m.
Eight million members log in to this kind of site every day, while a further 39.7% engaging in this activity on at least a weekly basis.
Consumers under the age of 24 years old make up 36.9% of the social networking population, a total that is considerably higher than their 26.3% share of the online audience as a whole.
Overall, two million 11–15 year olds have joined one of these Web 2.0 platforms, an uptick of 63% on 2009. Elsewhere, five million 35-49 year olds are registered with properties like MySpace and Twitter, an improvement of 28%.
Women contributed just 46.5% of social networkers in the previous round of research, but have now achieved parity with men.
Some 54.4% of respondents questioned by Médiamétrie read online reviews prior to making purchases, while 21.6% browsed for this type of information for any major acquisition.
Based on data drawn from this representative panel, it was estimated that 6.9m consumers would feel more comfortable about buying a specific brand if it was recommended by other shoppers on the web. Similarly, 7.5m were likely to opt against a product having encountered negative feedback in the same way.
“Young people – and the not so young – have always sought advice from their friends when shopping,” said Jamila Yahia Messaoud of Médiamétrie. “The influence of others on decisions is now much greater than before … Word-of-mouth is not new, but the internet amplifies it.”
Six French newspapers have come together to create an online newsstand where readers will be able to buy and read their content. The initiative, which will be launched in September, was announced Thursday by France’s National Daily Press Union as an alternative to Google News, El País reported. The maneuver comes months after Google announced its intention to include advertising on its news aggregation system. French newspapers had tried to negotiate with Google to receive a percentage of the ads revenues. But, as their request was denied, they have decided to launch a paid service of their own. The content’s price will be fixed by each daily and several subscription packages to either individual articles or an entire publication will be offered. “The monetization of the web contents, which has been agreed on by the editorial groups, is the main priority,” Les Echos explained. So far, Le Monde, Libération, Le Figaro, Les Echos, Le Parisien and L’Equipe have agreed to develop and finance the virtual newsstand. Nonetheless, editors expect other newspapers and magazines to join the project. The group is also trying to obtain state subventions offered to the press by the Sarkozy administration, ABC.es informed. According to Xornal de Galicia, the six dailies are currently negotiating with Orange and Microsoft Bing to build the platform, which will be accessible by personal computer, mobile phone and e-reader gadgets like the iPad.
The French-language version of international news channel France 24 will be available throughout the US from 14 July, which is “Bastille Day”. Up to now, France 24 has been available in English in certain regions of the United States. Now the French channel will be broadcast 24 hours a day throughout the US via the Dish satellite television service. The Director General of France 24, Christine Ockrent, has made the trip to New York for the occasion: “When the major [domestic] channels, whatever their qualities, are covering less international news, you have everything here in America for an audience looking for news, a global public who wish to compare points of view and especially to know what happens. ”
A group of three French businessmen Monday said that newspaper publisher Groupe Le Monde’s supervisory board has accepted exclusive talks to sell them a majority stake in the struggling newspaper. The paper chose the consortium formed by businessman Pierre Berge, Lazard banker Matthieu Pigasse and Internet entrepreneur Xavier Niel, the three businessmen said in a joint statement. The consortium said it aims to recapitalize the newspaper and restructure its debt by Sept. 30. In the meantime, a EUR 10m credit facility is to be granted before July 5. The choice for the trio was expected after French telecommunications giant France Telecom SA earlier Monday said it is withdrawing its offer. The decision to withdraw came after the paper’s journalists on Friday supported the offer made by Berge, Pigasse and Niel. France Telecom had been bidding for Groupe Le Monde along with Groupe SFA PAR founder Claude Perdriel and Spanish media group Promotora de Informaciones SA. Le Monde’s management put a majority stake in the company up for sale to repay debt of EUR 100m
Le Monde, the 66-year-old French newspaper up for sale after reeling under debts of around EUR 100m, has received two potential bids so far. So far, the highly-respected French newspaper had its ownership largely restricted to working journalists and publishers of the newspaper. Le Monde’s web version LeMonde.fr is, however, remained profitable. A “potential” bid was made by France Telecom-led cosortium with Groupe SFA PAR that controls Le Nouvel Observateur weekly and Spanish media firm Promotora de Informaciones. France Telecom with its own news site is keen to expand its web presence with the acquisition of Le Monde along with its web version. The other “firm” bid was by a consortium of Lazard France banker Matthieu Pigasse, Xavier Niel, founder of telecom group Iliad SA and Pierre Berge, partner of late French fashion designer Yves Laurent. A third informal offer from Russian billionaire Gleb Fetisov was rejected by the newspaper group
A group of shareholders in the French newspaper Le Monde has denounced President Nicolas Sarkozy for interfering in the process of selling the struggling publication. Mr. Sarkozy last week summoned Éric Fottorino, publisher of Le Monde, to Élysée Palace, where he is said to have expressed opposition to a bid for the newspaper from a group of three businessmen with links to the opposition Socialist Party. The president’s intervention has angered the Society of Readers of Le Monde, which is part of a shareholders’ group that, along with Le Monde employees, owns a controlling stake in the newspaper. Le Monde readers and employees are fearful of threats to the paper’s independence because they are set to lose extraordinary powers, including the right to fire top managers. Le Monde is expected to run low on cash as early as next month; executives had hoped to be able to recommend a buyer by Monday, in time for a meeting of the supervisory board of the newspaper’s parent company. But a person close to the company said Monday that the board was likely to delay the choice until at least the end of June. While the newspaper attracted scrutiny from at least five potential buyers, only two firm expressions of interest, referred to by Le Monde as “preoffers,” were submitted last week. The newspaper’s supervisory board said Monday that it had set June 21 as a deadline for offers, and that it would meet June 28 to choose a winning bid.
Google is bowing to the demands of three European governments and says it will begin surrendering the data it improperly collected over unsecured wireless networks
Eric E. Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, told The Financial Times in an interview in London that within the next two days, the company would share the data with regulators in Germany, Spain and France. The data is thought to include fragments of personal information like e-mail and bank account numbers. Google had previously resisted requests from European officials and privacy advocates to hand over the data, saying it needed time to review legal issues. Last month, Google revealed it had been inadvertently collecting 600 gigabytes of personal data, saying that the roving, camera-mounted cars in its Street View program had collected not only photographs of neighborhoods but snippets of private information from people whose personal Wi-Fi networks were left unencrypted. In Thursday’s interview, Mr. Schmidt said that the software code responsible for the data collection was in “clear violation” of Google’s rules. Mr. Schmidt also said that Google would make public the results of internal and external audits of its Wi-Fi data collection practices.