UK adspend surges in H1 2022 but clouds gather

UK ad expenditure increased 20% in the first half of 2022 compared to 2021 according to Nielsen’s Ad Intel, with digital display, outdoor and cinema the stand-outs.

Adspend on TV and radio were up by 8.30% and 3.35% respectively compared to this time last year. Both are up over 9% compared to 2019, pre-pandemic levels. However both fell in Q2 with radio down 5.9% and TV down 6.1%, increasing recession fears.

Paid social media advertising was consistent in monthly adspend across all categories in 2022. However spend in social media peaked in March, and fell back to its lowest H1 level in June. Digital display also saw an upsurge in ad spend of 28% year on year, and continued to perform well in Q2.

Cinema boomed following re-opening although it still lags 25% behind pre-pandemic 2019 levels. Outdoor started the year with a 54% increase. Press increased 16%.

Nielsen commercial director Barney Farmer says: “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.”

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