AA/WARC: UK advertising delivers 25th consecutive quarter of growth

Posted on: Thursday 30 January 2020 | IAB UK

Market growth is being driven by increased spend on online advertising, with percentage increases across every digital format

The latest AA/WARC Expenditure Report shows that UK ad spend rose 5.6% year-on-year to reach £5.97 billion in Q3 2019, marking UK advertising’s 25th consecutive quarter of market growth.

Overall market growth is being driven by increased spend on online advertising, which saw percentage increases across every format. This was led by digital out of home which rose by 17.1%, TV broadcaster VOD which saw a rise of 16.7% and national online newsbrands which saw growth of 6.5%. 

The figures reflect the report findings of ‘Advertising Pays 7: UK Advertising’s Digital Revolution’, by the ad industry’s think tank, Credos. The report, which was published last year, revealed that Britain is the largest online advertising marketplace in Europe and that the country has the highest per capita online retail spend in the G20. 

The latest data reveals that overall growth in the third quarter of 2019 was 0.8 percentage points ahead of forecast. Looking ahead to the full-year figures for 2019, UK ad spend is forecast to reach £24.8 billion, meaning growth of 5.2%. This is expected to rise a further 5.2% in 2020 to reach £26.1 billion.

Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive of the Advertising Association, commented: “These media spend figures are particularly impressive given this was a period of Brexit and political uncertainty and very low overall economic growth. As the Credos report on UK digital advertising showed, this is in part fuelled by the exceptional growth in SME spend in digital, as well as larger advertisers continuing to move budgets into digital formats in most media sectors.”

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