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Can you see it?

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There's an interesting nugget buried in this visualization of billion-dollar-plus figures.

Found it yet?

OK. It's the fact that $385 billion is spent yearly on advertising, only $20 billion of which is online.

I thought it was low too. So I checked. Maybe it's by quarter, as this report says that worldwide ad spend was that high just in Q2 of this year was about $14 billion. That would be a yearly total of roughly $56 billion. Another report I found estimated total ad spend, to reach $421 billion — the ratio of online ad spend to the total being higher than in the (visually stimulating) graph.

What do you think when you see numbers about ad spend? What does it tell you about the strength of the industry or the efficacy of certain channels? We report these numbers a lot — and each time, the context changes based on the trend. If, for example, direct mail is dying (we got a lot of mail regarding an opinion in the magazine that direct mail was "dead, dead, dead"), is online advertising going to fill that void? Will the amount of marketing professionals active remain nearly the same?
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