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UK advertising spend achieves record for Q1 2018

UK advertising spend in Q1 2018 rose 5.9% year-on-year to reach £5.7bn - the 19th consecutive quarter of market growth, according to Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report data published today. The figure is 1.3 percentage points (pp) ahead of forecast.

 
Further key findings from the report indicate: 
  • Q1 2018 was the strongest first quarter in three years
  • Print display ad revenue for national newsbrands rose for the first time in seven years
  • Radio (+12.5%) recorded its strongest growth in four years, while internet (+10.8%), out of home (+5.3%) and TV (+5.0%) were all positive during the quarter
Adspend growth forecasts for this year and next have been upgraded, by 0.6pp to 4.8% and 0.7pp to 4.5% respectively. If proved correct, this would conclude a decade of continuous growth, and result in investment of over £24bn in 2019.
 
Search now accounts for almost three in ten pounds spent on advertising in the UK, a share which has risen 1.8pp over the last year. Spend on search advertising has grown consistently since monitoring began in 2001.
 
Display formats, which account for just under two-thirds of all adspend in the UK, recorded a rise in investment of 4.7% in Q1 2018 - on a par with the rate recorded in the final quarter of 2017. Excluding direct mail, spend on display formats rose 6.0%. This was the strongest sector growth since the final quarter of 2015.
 
Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive at the Advertising Association said:
 
"Our latest advertising expenditure figures reflect the resilience of the wider UK economy, where consumer confidence is improved and the jobs market remains very strong. UK 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 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 UK'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 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 over perform, 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."
 
The Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report is the definitive measure of advertising activity in the UK. It is the only source that uses advertising expenditure gathered from across the entire media landscape, rather than relying on estimated or modelled data.
 

 

Forecast summary

 

Adspend 2017 (£m)

 

2017 v 2016

 

Forecast 2018

 

Forecast 2019

 

% change

 

% change

 

% change

Internet

11,553

14.3%

9.8%

8.2%

of which mobile

5,223

37.3%

22.5%

17.2%

TV

5,108

-3.2%

2.5%

3.3%

of which broadcaster VoD

211

7.1%

11.8%

12.2%

Direct mail

1,753

0.8%

-4.1%

-3.8%

Out of home

1,144

1.5%

3.2%

2.6%

National newsbrands

1,032

-5.6%

-1.3%

-1.7%

of which digital

275

19.3%

9.1%

11.1%

Regional newsbrands

887

-13.1%

-7.9%

-6.2%

of which digital

212

9.9%

10.1%

6.5%

Magazine brands

776

-11.5%

-8.2%

-5.8%

of which digital

271

-4.0%

-3.8%

1.0%

Radio

679

5.2%

6.9%

4.4%

of which digital ad formats

35

26.3%

24.6%

16.3%

Cinema

260

3.3%

4.3%

6.5%

TOTAL UK ADSPEND

22,190

4.6%

4.8%

4.5%

* Broadcaster VoD, digital revenues for newsbrands and magazine brands, radio station websites and mobile advertising spend are also included within the internet total of £11,553m, so care should be taken to avoid double counting.

Source: AA/WARC Expenditure Report, July 2018

 

 

 

At-a-glance media summary

 

Q1 2018 v Q1 2017

 

Actual versus forecast

 

% change

 

Percentage points (pp)

Internet

10.8%

+0.9pp

of which mobile

26.5%

+4.3pp

TV

5.0%

+2.1pp

of which broadcaster VoD

11.9%

+2.1pp

Direct mail

-4.5%

-0.5pp

Out of home

5.3%

+3.2pp

National newsbrands

-0.5%

+4.6pp

of which digital

2.9%

-7.2pp

Regional newsbrands

-9.3%

+1.9pp

of which digital

16.6%

+11.6pp

Radio

12.5%

+6.5pp

of which digital ad formats

39.3%

+11.8pp

Magazine brands

-8.4%

-0.4pp

of which digital

-4.5%

-4.8pp

Cinema

-12.8%

-21.2pp

TOTAL UK ADSPEND

5.9%

+1.3pp

* Broadcaster VoD, digital revenues for newsbrands and magazine brands, radio station websites and mobile advertising spend are also included within the internet total, so care should be taken to avoid double counting. Actual versus forecast compares media performance with projections made in April 2018.

Source: AA/WARC Expenditure Report, July 2018

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