NEWS31 August 2022

UK ad spend up 20 per cent on the year

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UK – UK advertising spend in the first half of the year is up 20% year-on-year, fuelled by leaps in outdoor and digital display advertising, but spend has slowed in the second quarter amid the cost-of-living crisis, new figures show.

Piccadilly Circus

The Nielsen figures, covering the first half of 2022, reveal ad spend to be up 20% on the year, a welcome boon for the embattled UK economy.

Winners in the first half include outdoor advertising, up 54% on the year, amid heavy footfall at retail parks and greater travel encouraging advertisers to invest in the medium.

Digital display advertising rose 28% on the year, while cinema also performed strongly, up more than 1,000%, although the figure is skewed as cinemas only reopened following the pandemic in May last year.

TV was up 8.3 per cent on the year while radio was up 3.35%.

However, both were down in the second quarter compared to the previous year with TV down 6.1% and radio down 5.9%, while press advertising was also up in the first half to 16%.

Overall ad spend marginally slowed in the second quarter, as firms look to see what impact the cost of living will have on consumer spending and broader economic challenges.

By sectors, ad spend on comparison websites was down eight per cent on the year in the first half, which might be unexpected given consumers are looking to tighten their belts.

Entertainment and leisure was up 30% and advertising by supermarkets was up 7% on the year, which was fuelled by discount retailers increasing their ad spend by double digits.

Retail and business energy and utility saw a dramatic decree in ad spend, down 57%.

Nielsen commercial director Barney Farmer commented: “Advertising on a general level has been moving in a positive direction during the earlier parts of 2022, with some nice uplifts across all media channels.

“However, the headwinds facing the UK economy of inflationary pressures and sluggish growth, indicate that we may be going into more challenging times in the second half of the year.

“As consumers navigate through economic uncertainty, consumer spending might further decrease, causing companies to reassess their ad expenditures in quarters three and four.”