U.K. advertising is forecast to increase to £20.8 billion ($26.6 billion) in 2019, surpassing the £20 billion mark for the first time, according to GroupM.
GroupM forecasts 6 percent growth for 2018, down from 6.4 percent in 2017. The growth prediction for 2019 has been revised downward to 4.8 percent from the 5.1 percent forecast earlier this year.
Overall, the U.K. ad market looks to remain stable, largely due to the high levels of digital advertising growth. Digital represents around 60 percent of all ad investment and accounts for all net U.K. advertising growth.
GroupM forecasts TV advertising investment to remain flat in 2018, with just a slight 0.3 uptick, and about 1 percent growth is expected in 2019. In 2017, there was a drop of 2.4 percent in the TV segment. According to Nielsen, key TV categories that are soft this year include food, household FMCG, retail, entertainment and leisure. Finance (TV’s largest category) and motors (the fifth largest) are growing high-single-digit in the year to September. Facebook, in particular, has garnered a large share of audiovisual advertising.
Adam Smith, futures director at GroupM, said: “Future Brexit fall-out remains a complete unknown, but for now the economy is doing OK. Ad revenue forecasts remain perhaps surprisingly positive, supported by digital commanding a rising share of overall marketing effort from a wider base of marketers large and small. The U.K.’s fluid media market favors optimism too. Advertisers know they can change spending plans almost at will, with low or no friction.”
“Collaboration and measurement remain key topics for the U.K. alongside Brexit and GDPR in our advertising forecast for 2019, but in a sea-of-change advertising investment stays buoyant reaching unprecedented levels,” said Tom George, CEO of GroupM UK. “It’s encouraging to see the industry pulling together to create new and improved investment propositions. GroupM is highly engaged with all of these efforts to ensure our clients continue to effectively engage consumers.”