NEWS26 January 2021

UK ad spend forecast to increase in 2021

Brexit Covid-19 Media News UK

UK – Advertising spend in the UK is forecast to grow by 15.2% this year, according to the most recent Advertising Association/Warc expenditure report.

Digital advertising abstract image

The forecast is an upgrade from the report’s previous assessment of 14.4% growth made in October, and would make up for the estimated 7.9% decline in spend in 2020.

The report estimates that the UK ad market will reach £26.69bn in 2021, surpassing the £25.37bn recorded in 2019.

Growth is also forecast to exceed other markets, with spend expected to grow by 3.8% in the US; 9.3% in Germany; 8.8% in Europe (excluding the UK), and 10.3% in China.

Actual spend fell by 3.3% in Q3 2020, better than the previously forecast 17.9% decline for the quarter, driven by growth in internet advertising..

Stephen Woodford, chief executive, Advertising Association, said: “The latest figures from the AA/Warc Expenditure Report come as welcome news at the beginning of the year. Not only does the data show the overall decline expected in 2020 may be less than feared, but the recovery in 2021 will be stronger than we would have dared hope even a few months ago.”

The quarterly report combines Warc’s forecasting model with data from discontinued print publications the Quarterly Survey of Advertising Expenditure and the Advertising Forecast.

James McDonald, head of data content, Warc, said: “The latest market data show that the largest online properties were shielded from the worst of the industry downturn last year. 

“The outlook for the year ahead is bullish, reflecting greater certainty around Brexit and the potential for the vaccination programme to unlock economic growth. We now believe that the ad market can overcorrect in these circumstances to top its 2019 peak, though large parts of the industry remain in a fragile state.”