New AA/WARC forecast paints much brighter picture for UK adspend in 2021

The UK’s Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report paints a pretty optimistic picture for 2021, forecasting growth of 15.2% (0.8% up from its October musings), more than making up for a 7.9% decline in 2020.

It expects UK adspend to be £23.17bn in 2020 (£25.37bn in 2019) reaching £26.69bn this year. This is ahead of other big ad markets: The US is expected to grow 3.8%, Germany 9.3%, Europe (excluding UK) 8.8%, and China 10.3%. Digital, as ever, leading the growth.

UK media sectors expected to recover strongly are cinema (mostly closed in 2020) at 228.4%; digital out of home at 53.6%, traditional out of home at 37.7%, and video on demand at 21.2%.

All this could be confounded by coronavirus of course.

AA CEO Stephen Woodford says; “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.

“With the vaccine rollout accelerating and a Brexit trade deal in place, the 2021 business outlook is brightening, reflected by these new forecasts showing a stronger and quicker recovery in adspend, with a stronger rebound than in other large economies. With every £1 of advertising spend generating £6 of GDP, this is good news for jobs and growth in the wider economy.”

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.