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Winter Olympics, soccer World Cup to help fuel 2014 ad growth

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Two prominent advertising firms are forecasting worldwide advertising growth of 5% to 6.5% next year as marketers gear up for the Winter Olympics and the World Cup.

Magna Global on Monday estimated that worldwide advertising spending would increase 6.5% in 2014 to reach nearly $522 billion.  The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the soccer World Cup in Brazil, and mid-term elections in the United States should help boost the total over this year's level.

"The combination of an improved economic environment and stronger-than-usual cyclical drivers is bound to unlock marketing and branding budgets in 2014," Vincent Letang, director of global forecasting at Magna Global, said in his firm's report.

"This will primarily benefit television and digital media where new formats and opportunities are being explored for activation and branding campaigns," he said.

Magna Global said that in 2013, worldwide advertising spending would reach $489 billion, an increase of 3.2% over last year.  In the United States, ad revenues ticked up just 1.3% this year over 2012.

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But next year, Letang said, domestic revenues are expected to climb 5.5%.

Fox Broadcasting, owned by 21st Century Fox, has already sold out its inventory for the Super Bowl, with some 30-second spots fetching more than $4 million.  

Another advertising giant -- ZenithOptimedia -- separately predicted the advertising industry was entering "the strongest sustained period of growth" in 10 years. 

ZenithOptimedia pegged this year's growth rate at 3.6%, and predicted an increase of 5.3% in 2014 -- less than Magna Global's estimate.

ZenithOptimedia predicted an increase of 5.8% in 2015.

"The principal engine of this growth will be mobile technology, which is expanding the space for media consumption," ZenithOptimedia said in its report.

"We forecast mobile to contribute 36% of all the extra ad-spend between 2013 and 2016," ZenithOptimedia said. "Television is the second largest contributor (accounting for 34% of new ad expenditure), followed by desktop Internet (25%), which continues to enjoy significant growth alongside that of mobile advertising."

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Twitter: @MegJamesLAT

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