NEWS31 January 2022

UK advertising spend recovers to almost £30bn

Covid-19 Media News Trends UK

UK – The UK advertising market had its strongest ever year in 2021 with a record 26.4% growth to an overall value of £29.7bn forecasted, according to the latest expenditure report by the Advertising Association (AA) and Warc.

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The report, which covers the third quarter of 2021 as well as full year forecasts for 2021 and 2022, also estimated that the UK advertising market would grow to a total £32.2bn, equating to an 8.5% rise.

Third quarter results for 2021 showed advertising spend was at £7.3bn, which was the largest-ever spend on record for the three months between July and September.

The results meant that the UK’s recovery in advertising spend was the largest across any major international ad market, including the US, France and China, as well as 12 percentage points above the global average.

AA/Warc issued an upgrade of almost one percentage point for 2022’s growth rate, with sectors hit hard by Covid-19, such as cinema and out-of-home advertising, expected to recover.

Cinema saw a 655.9% rise in income in the third quarter of 2021 to £20.2m, coinciding with the September release of the latest instalment in the James Bond series of films, No Time to Die.

Regional news brands saw online advertising revenue overtake print for the second quarter running, with revenue online at £67.5m with combined investment of £132.7m.

Stephen Woodford, chief executive at the AA, said: “UK advertising has seen a remarkable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, racing ahead of key international markets with spend expected to cross the threshold of £30bn this year.

“It is all the more important therefore that the Government recognises the need to support industry-led skills training to complement the demand for digital skills required to keep this market booming.”

James McDonald, director of data, intelligence and forecasting at Warc, said: “While inflation is set to act as a headwind on both the consumer and media buyers alike in the coming months, we have little reason to believe that the UK’s ad market won’t achieve growth of 8.5% this year – well ahead of the average recorded during the decade preceding the outbreak.”