GroupM Predicts 6.3% Increase in 2023 China Ad Revenue as Market Returns to Growth

Updated forecast includes key industry trends and takeaways for global marketers

Emerging from significant uncertainty through the tail end of 2022, China appears set for a return to growth in the Year of the Rabbit. In China Spotlight 2023 — an updated forecast issued today — GroupM identifies strong positive momentum across multiple sectors, including automotive, luxury, media and entertainment, which coincides with the winding down of the country’s zero-COVID policy.

Based on these positive signals, GroupM — the industry’s largest player in the Chinese media market — now expects ad revenue in China to increase by 6.3% in 2023, marking rapid growth following a -0.6% decline in ad revenue the prior year. This emerging momentum, compounded by changes in consumer behavior catalyzed by the pandemic, presents global and local marketers with important opportunities for growth.

“China plays a crucial role in the global advertising market and the growth strategies of many of the world’s leading marketers,” said Christian Juhl, GroupM’s Global CEO. “GroupM’s unrivaled expertise in China means we are well positioned to help our clients take advantage of the opportunities that a return to growth presents and the report we’re releasing today details four key areas that companies looking to reestablish themselves in the market should give immediate attention.”

Given the strain placed on Chinese consumers during the pandemic and the subsequent excitement that re-openings can inspire, GroupM’s China Spotlight 2023 highlights the importance of positivity and optimism in connecting with Chinese consumers and provides deep analysis of sector-by-sector trends. The report spotlights four key takeaways for marketers, including critical dynamics affecting publishers and media inventory, changes in consumer behavior and expectations, and opportunities in retail media and out-of-home.

Reflecting on China’s emergence from the pandemic in the report, Patrick Xu, GroupM Greater China CEO & WPP Greater China CEO describes the last three years as “some of the most challenging and inspiring of my career,” adding: “Throughout the successive pandemic-related lockdowns and resulting shifts in economic activity and human behavior, GroupM and its clients have adapted and invested to come out stronger and better prepared for the years ahead.”

For more information about the data referenced in the report, reach out to [email protected].