Total marketing expenditures, including advertising and below-the-line communications are forecast by MyersBizNet to decline 0.3% in 2017, slightly better than our original forecast of -0.6% published last January. Overall 1.5% growth of 2017 advertising expenditures will not be sufficient to offset projected declines of 1.1% in below-the-line and shopper marketing, according to MyersBizNet. MyersBizNet had originally projected a greater shift of marketers’ investments from below to above-the-line. While we accurately forecast total 2017 marketing communications investments at flat to -1.0%, Myers’ had projected 5.9% increases in advertising budgets funded by a 2.4% decline in below-the-line. Based on our current analysis, 2017 advertising growth will be +1.5% and B-t-L marketing will decline only 1.1%. Myers tracking of all marketing investments since 2000 has reflected a consistent pattern of declining below-the-line budgets driving digital and above-the-line advertising growth, resulting in a flat overall marketing economy. Spurred by anticipated political spending plus Olympics and World Cup, marketer expenditures are projected to increase 1.9% in 2018. Scroll down for Jack Myers' commentary.