AA/WARC: UK advertising spend up 15.9% in Q3

Posted on Friday 26 January 2024 | IAB UK

The latest Advertising Association / WARC Expenditure Report shows the increase to £9.6bn was driven by spend on search and online display


The figures by the Advertising Association/WARC for the third quarter of 2023 confirm that the UK’s advertising market spend saw an increase of 15.9% to £9.6bn.

The findings show key online formats, including search (+23.7%), online display (+24.8%), digital out-of-home (+12.9%) and BVOD (+28.4%) all registered growth between July and September, the latter reflecting in part the role on-demand viewing played during the Women’s FIFA World Cup. You can find out more here.

Speaking about the latest data, Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive of the Advertising Association, said: “The Q3 increase in 2023 and 2024 forecast upgrade demonstrate advertisers’ continued commitment to investing in their brands, despite the lack of overall growth and stubborn inflationary pressures in the UK economy."

The Q3 report marks the first time advertising spend in Q3 has exceeded the £9bn mark and is further evidence that despite the economic backdrop, there is increased confidence in advertising and marketing spend. This echoes the recently released IPA Bellwether findings which showed UK marketing budgets for 2024 have seen the greatest upward revisions in more than a decade.

AA / WARC Expenditure Report data

Media 

Q3 2023 year-on-year % change 

9M 2023 year-on-year % change 

FY 2023 estimated year-on-year % change 

Percentage point (pp) change in forecast vs October 

2024 forecast year-on-year % change 

Search 

23.7% 

11.2% 

11.3% 

+5.7pp 

8.7% 

Online display* 

24.8% 

12.2% 

13.0% 

+5.6pp 

7.4% 

TV 

-3.0% 

-8.8% 

-7.3% 

-1.5pp 

1.4% 

of which BVOD 

28.4% 

15.9% 

16.2% 

+0.1pp 

14.6% 

Out of home 

12.9% 

7.7% 

8.7% 

+1.0pp 

7.3% 

    of which digital 

15.6% 

9.6% 

10.6% 

+1.3pp 

8.8% 

Online classified* 

-18.0% 

-14.7% 

-13.9% 

-2.8pp 

-3.5% 

Direct mail 

-13.9% 

-15.2% 

-14.3% 

-1.5pp 

-5.4% 

National newsbrands 

-2.6% 

-6.5% 

-4.8% 

+0.9pp 

-1.6% 

    of which online 

-1.5% 

-5.9% 

-3.8% 

+0.6pp 

2.1% 

Radio 

-2.2% 

-4.7% 

-3.2% 

+0.2pp 

2.1% 

    of which online 

-15.2% 

-5.0% 

-3.4% 

-4.7pp 

8.0% 

Magazine brands 

-8.2% 

-7.6% 

-6.3% 

-1.0pp 

-1.1% 

    of which online 

-13.9% 

-11.5% 

-8.9% 

-3.0pp 

2.3% 

Regional newsbrands 

-4.8% 

-11.2% 

-9.2% 

+0.9pp 

-2.5% 

    of which online 

-1.2% 

-7.6% 

-5.3% 

+1.7pp 

1.1% 

Cinema 

21.2% 

2.5% 

5.4% 

-2.2pp 

4.6% 

TOTAL UK ADSPEND 

15.9% 

5.8% 

6.4% 

+3.8pp 

5.9% 

Note: Broadcaster VOD, digital revenues for newsbrands, magazine brands, and radio station websites are also included within online display and classified totals, so care should be taken to avoid double counting. Online radio includes targeted in-stream radio/audio advertising sold by UK commercial radio companies, together with online S&P inventory. 
Source: AA/WARC Expenditure Report, January 2024 

Written by

IAB UK

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