NEWS30 July 2019

Mixed picture for advertising growth

Media News UK

UK – Advertising spend has risen 4.2% year-on-year in the first quarter, according to the AA and Warc Expenditure Report, but the rate of growth is forecast to slow compared to 2018.

Jar of money labelled 'budget'

Spend on advertising in the first quarter of 2019 hit £6bn, marking 23 consecutive quarters of growth for the UK industry as the country approached the original Brexit deadline of 29th March.

Online ad spend drove growth in Q1, with online radio spend up 26.5% compared to the first quarter of 2018, TV video on-demand up 17.5% and total online display increasing by 16.6%.

But while overall spend was up on the same period in 2018, it was down half a percentage point (-0.5%) on the level forecast.

TV advertising was down 2.5% on the first quarter of 2018 and spend on newsbrands was down 9.1%. Direct mail, regional newsbrands and magazine brands also dropped.

The report forecasts ad spend will reach £24.6bn for the full year, equivalent to a 4.6% year-on-year increase. However, this is lower than the 6.3% growth seen in 2018, compared to 2017. 

The AA expects growth of 5.3% in 2020.

Stephen Woodford, chief executive at the Advertising Association, said: "These figures are testament to the resilience of UK advertising during an uncertain period for business, leading up to the original Brexit date. We see online advertising in all its forms continuing to perform strongly, demonstrating again how the UK is Europe’s leading online advertising marketplace.

"We hope that the new administration can deliver a business-friendly outcome to our relationship with the EU, ensuring the UK’s domestic advertising market remains robust and our advertising exports, which are world-class, keep growing."