The Asia Pacific is forecast to lead global digital ad spend this year, with ad spend growth expected to increase by 4.2% from forthcoming events such as Winter Olympics, FIFA World Cup and State elections.

Findings are based on analysis from the Dentsu Aegis Network on 59 markets which highlights that global ad spend will increase by 3.6% in 2018, up from 3.1% last year.

Issues such as ad fraud, data accuracy and maturing activity, however, are causing slow growth in certain markets according to the agency, with ad spend growth in China expecting to be at 5.4%, down from 6% last year.

Ad spend in the UK has also been forecast to grow by 2.9% to £21.9 billion, down from its previous forecast at 5.9%.

Channels disrupting ad spend

The agency highlights digital media channels to continue disrupting ad spend over the next 12 months while continuing to power spending growth, growing globally by 12.6% versus 15% last year to reach $220 billion.

On mobile, digital ad spend on the platform is set to reach $121 billion, an increase of 8.2%, whereas desktop will continue to lose global share, falling 1.5% since 2016.

Meanwhile, digital will finally overtake TV, accounting for 38% share of total ad spend versus TV’s share of 35%. Paid search will account for 40% of digital ad spend with voice-activated devices such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Voice Assistant leading the charge.

Video (24.5%) and social (23.5%) are also set to drive growth within digital ad spend in the next 12 months, while programmatic spend will increase by 23% according to the agency.

“The latest ad spend forecasts show a market in transformation, but not recession,” commented Jerry Buhlmann, chief executive of Dentsu Aegis Network.

“Succeeding in this environment requires global consistency through appropriate platforms and systems, while also the flexibility and agility to work with a wider ecosystem of tech-enabled solutions. It demands a relentless focus on understanding the consumer, using data to reach real people, driving relevance, addressability and business growth.”