Karmazin upbeat on ad biz

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Despite those in the press "who write those obnoxious articles," reporting the current downturn in the advertising economy, Viacom Inc. president and chief operating officer Mel Karmazin predicted that overall U.S. advertising would climb 5.8% in 2001.

He said so at a speech at the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau's annual conference in New York Tuesday (Feb. 6). Overall TV advertising growth will be slower over the next four years than the previous four, said Karmazin, but should still climb at an annual pace of more than 6%. In 2001, he predicted, network cable advertising would grow 12.5% to $10.1 billion.

Even if there is a recession this year, as Morgan Stanley (for one) is now predicting, Karmazin said that advertising "will not dip." Why? Because advertising has become too important to companies trying to build brands and retain their products' market share, he said. - Steve McClellan