I've gotta get this off my chest. It's been bugging me for ten years now. If online ad spending grows X% from year to year (or quarter to quarter), and then in the next period the growth is something less than X, that's not negative news. It just means that it's growing, but not as fast as it did last quarter, year or whatever. And the failure for something to grow at a rate that is something less than last quarter is not a sign for alarm.
I don't care what industry it is. Eventually, growth has to become linear rather than exponential. You can't sustain growth in the double digits year after year and quarter after quarter. It's unrealistic for any industry. You're not measuring volume from time period to time period, you're measuring the rate at which volume accelerates from time period to time period. It's incredibly misleading.
So I wish we'd avoid treating a lack of exponential growth like it's some sort of warning shot.