NEWS1 November 2017

UK ad spend resilient, buoyed by digital

Media Mobile News UK

UK – Advertisers spent £10.8bn during the first six months of 2017, according to the latest expenditure report from the Advertising Association and Warc.


The figure represents the largest H1 ad spend since the Advertising Association/Warc quarterly monitoring began in 1982.

Growth in the market is being driven primarily by increased spend on digital advertising, which accounted for over half ( 54%) of all ad spend in the first half of 2017, representing £5.8bn of the £10.8bn total.

Overall spend increased by 4% year-on-year during the second quarter, making it the 16th consecutive quarter of growth, and the strongest since Q4 of 2015, despite continued economic uncertainty over the impact of Brexit negotiations.

Internet ad spend increased by 13.8% in the first six months of the year, compared to the same period in 2016, with mobile contributing 38.1% of that.

James McDonald, senior data analyst at Warc, said: “The latest data highlight the importance of mobile to advertisers in the UK – spend on mobile ads accounted for the entirety of internet growth during the second quarter of 2017 and 97% over the first six months of the year. As mobile usage and credit-fueled consumer spending continue to rise, investment in mobile advertising will track ahead of other platforms this year.”

Other digital formats also performed strongly during the first half of the year, including digital out of home (+29.1%), national newsbrands (+15.6%) and digital advertising formats for radio (+22.2%).

Cinema also recorded growth (+21.0%) during the first half of 2017, while TV spend declined by 4.4% compared to H1 2016.

Stephen Woodford, chief executive at the Advertising Association, said: “Spend on advertising is showing strong resilience at a time of real uncertainty for UK business. The upgrade of our 2017 forecast by a further 1%, the equivalent of an additional investment of £190m, should be seen as a cautious indicator for continued growth in the UK economy.”