By NBF News
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The Asia-Pacific region will overtake North America as the largest advertising market 'soon after 2014,' according to a report by Bloomberg from New York on Tuesday.

The economic slowdown accelerated the shift of ad dollars to digital media in China, India and Brazil, eMarketer Incorporated and Starcom MediaVest Group said in a joint report.

The Middle East and Africa would grow 11.4 per cent this year, faster than any other major region, they said.

Increased consumer spending in China and India helped Asia-Pacific fare better in the economic slowdown than the rest of the world. Companies worldwide have been boosting spending after cuts during the economic slowdown and designating more of their budgets to digital media and emerging markets.

The Executive Vice- President and Global Research Director at Starcom MediaVest, Ms. Kate Sirkin, said, 'More and more the questions from clients are how to spend on digital and within digital. It is not something that you can just stick a banner ad up and see what happens. You have to engage a consumer and give them an experience online.'

The report predicts Asia-Pacific ad spending will reach $173.2bn in 2014.

Total global online ad spending would rise 12 per cent to $62bn this year, eMarketer said. By 2014, online will account for 17 per cent of total media spending.

The report covers six major regions and 29 countries and includes information from media-buying agencies such as WPP Plc's Group M and Publicis Group SA's ZenithOptimedia.

'Digital always exceeded the growth rate of traditional media. We will see in the future, as we do already in the United Kingdom, online encroaching upon television,' said Chief Executive Officer at eMarketer, Mr. Geoff Rasey.

The largest share of online ad dollars, 48 per cent, goes to search advertising, followed by display, which includes video advertising, Ramsey said. Video ads are the fastest- growing online format, he said.