U.K. Advertising Spend Reaches Record Level


According to the latest Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report, U.K. adspend rose 5.8 percent year on year to reach £6 billion ($7.7 billion) in Q2 2019, marking its 24th consecutive quarter of market growth.

Adspend over the first six months of 2019 was 5.2 percent higher than the prior year, at £12 billion ($15.5 billion).

Adspend growth for 2019 is forecast to rise by 5 percent and reach £24.7 billion ($31.8 billion), with the U.K.’s ad market expected to grow a further 5.3 percent in 2020. The projected full-year growth figure for 2019 is an upgrade of 0.4 percentage points on the figure forecast at the last release of adspend data in July.

Overall market growth is being driven by increased spend on online advertising. There was strong growth in Q2 2019 compared to Q2 2018 in TV VOD and cinema. TV VOD saw an increase of 20 percent in Q2, while cinema recorded growth of 49.6 percent.

Stephen Woodford, chief executive of Advertising Association, commented: “These very encouraging adspend figures for Q2 2019 cover the period immediately following the original Brexit date of March 29, demonstrating the continued strength of U.K. advertising during a time of political uncertainty. Advertising’s dynamism is shown by the growth recorded across many different formats, with particularly impressive performances from cinema, TV VOD and online radio.

“These figures are positive for our industry and are good indicators of the resilience of the U.K. economy. However, with another scheduled Brexit departure date looking likely to be passed on October 31, we are acutely conscious of the industry’s desire for the clarity needed to continue investing for the future during these uncertain times.”

James McDonald, managing editor at WARC, commented: “An upgrade to our 2019 projection of almost half a point is reflective of stellar online growth, as well as over-performance for a number of traditional channels against the expectations we laid out in July. There is little in the data we receive from media owners across the industry to suggest an impending downturn, but growth cannot be taken for granted while economic prosperity remains in the balance.”