UK adspend defies gloomsters to burst £22bn barrier

UK advertising spend is forecast to hit £22.1bn in 2017 (up 3.4 per cent on the year before) according to new Advertising Association/WARC data, based on Q3’s 3.5 per cent rise to £5.4bn.

A rise of 2.8 per cent to £22.7bn is forecast for 2018, the year that some Brexit chickens are scheduled to come home to roost.

Mobile adspend rose 30.7 per cent year-on-year, buoyed by a 44.7 per cent rise in social media advertising. Internet adspend growth was up 9.9 per cent year-on-year inclusive of digital revenues for newsbrands, magazine brands, TV and radio broadcasters, most of which preformed strongly.

Advertising Association CEO Stephen Woodford (left) says: “UK advertising spend enjoyed a record high in the third quarter of 2017, with figures up again year-on-year. It is encouraging to see further predicted growth of 2.8 per cent for 2018. UK advertising is vital for the economy, generating £6 for every £1 spent and we know from the work of Credos, advertising’s think tank, that advertising is the engine of growth for UK business.

“As we work through Brexit, we need to help Government make the best decisions to support our industry and, by extension, the wider UK economy as we target growth across the nations and regions and in an increasingly global marketplace.”

At this rate there seems a chance that Brexit, leaving chickens to one side, will also be the dog that didn’t bark, at least as far as adland is concerned.

Advertising these days takes a bewildering number of forms but they are nearly all tech-enabled. And technology is no respecter of borders whether you’re in or out of the EU.


MediaCom UK CEO Josh Krichefski (who’s never short of an opinion) says: “Audiences across all demographics now want to view what they want, when they want and mobile is rapidly becoming the platform that allows them to do just that. In the UK alone, well over three quarters (85 per cent) of 16-75 year olds own a smartphone. That is clearly a huge opportunity for brands to connect to a powerful audience – brands who use data well and execute smart campaigns based on that are able to engage an audience with tailored content that builds a personal relationship and ultimately leads to them buying from, or at least being more aware of, that company or product.

“Yet, harnessing mobile for the sake of mobile is not, and never will be, the right approach; for any ad campaign to succeed it must be made with thought, care and the right target audience in mind. The key lies in remembering that consumers love mobile content because it’s easy to access and view. Mobile ads can take advantage of that, but they cannot allow it to be a reason to spam consumers – the audience will expect and demand an unforgettable experience, but if they see an ad ‘blocking’ the content they want to view, all that ad spend will be completely wasted.”

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