U.K. advertising spend in Q1 2018 was up 5.9 percent year-on-year to reach £5.7 billion ($7.5 billion), marking the 19th consecutive quarter of market growth, according to the Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report.
The first quarter of 2018 was the strongest Q1 in three years. Adspend growth forecasts for this year and next have been upgraded to 4.8 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively. If this proves to be accurate, it would conclude a decade of continuous growth and result in the investment of more than £24 billion ($31.5 billion) in 2019.
TV saw a 5 percent gain from the year-ago period. Looking ahead, predictions are for 2.5 percent growth for the year ahead and 3.3 percent for 2019.
Stephen Woodford, chief executive at the Advertising Association, said: “Our latest advertising expenditure figures reflect the resilience of the wider U.K. economy, where consumer confidence is improved and the jobs market remains very strong. U.K. advertising continues to show steady growth with more businesses investing more spend in advertising. This investment boosts company profits and overall GDP, creates more jobs and helps our media sector to continue to invest in the creative content and technology that the public values.
“If the government can secure a good outcome from the Brexit negotiations and introduce a business-friendly immigration policy, we should continue to see sustained UK market growth and continued export success for advertising.”
James McDonald, data editor at WARC, commented: “The U.K.’s advertising market has now grown ahead of expectations in each of the last four quarters, and our projection for 2018 growth has been upgraded by a two percentage points since the start of the year on the back of sterling results across the media landscape.
“Online ad formats—particularly search and social media—continue to overperform, but traditional media are also proving their worth to advertisers. Notable among these are radio, TV, out of home and national newsbrands, with the latter carrying on from a good final quarter in 2017 to reverse a seven-year downturn in display revenue.”