The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

Saturation point: Desktop internet adspend to decline this year
Posted by: James McDonald, Research Analyst, Warc
James McDonald

UK advertising expenditure for desktop internet is estimated to have grown 2.6% year-on-year to £5.7bn in 2015, well behind the headline internet growth rate of 13.5%, according to the latest results from the AA/Warc UK Expenditure Report, released this week.

Further, on current trends, spend on desktop ads is forecast to begin demonstrating annual declines from the second half of this year, culminating in year-on-year growth of -0.1% for 2016 as a whole. Instead it will be the other two contributors to the gross total, mobile and tablet, which drive internet growth in the coming quarters.


Subjects: Advertising, Data

05 February 2016 09:48

Mythbuster: Attribution fraud
Posted by: Mythbuster, Les Binet and Sarah Carter, DDB

Les Binet and Sarah Carter get a little bit angry about some of the nonsense they hear around them… like 'attribution fraud'.

Years ago, when the internet was young, a digital strategist held forth at a party. "The thing about digital marketing," he said "is we know everything about customers and precisely how they respond to our ads. Online everything is measurable."


Subjects: Digital, Data

26 January 2016 12:21

Why the market for page impressions is a ‘market for lemons’; and how we can create digital peaches
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This guest post is written by Ollie Henderson, Founder of engagement marketplace, Silence Media

As digital ad spend reached a record high in 2015, the cost of ad fraud also rose to an estimated $18.5 billion – accounting for 34% of overall digital expenditure. It’s hardly surprising, therefore, that ad fraud and viewability remain at the top of the agenda as the new year begins.


Subjects: Data, Media, Digital

18 January 2016 16:03

This Year Next Year UK forecast
Posted by: MEC

In this blog GroupM’s Adam Smith examines the ad forecast for 2016 and explains some of the reasons why UK ad investment could be outrunning GDP growth for five years in a row.

Aggregate demand in the UK looks well-set for the year ahead, although still dependant on the consumer as opposed to the smaller components of investment, government and exports. 74% of the working age population is employed, the highest rate ever recorded, and the working population numbers a record at 31 million. Workers’ real wages are rising and almost restored to their 2008 peak. Energy prices and property wealth are also consumer tailwinds. The headwinds seem to be abating, chiefly the China slowdown, uncertainty about what the government will cut, and immediate interest rate rises. Even the Eurozone is perking up thanks to QE, cheap energy, and a more competitive euro.


Subjects: Data, Advertising, Media

12 January 2016 09:50

The global adspend outlook
Posted by: James McDonald, Research Analyst, Warc
James McDonald

We estimate global advertising spend (based on 12 major markets) increased by 2.2% in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms in 2015. This is mildly below our previous expectations in July (-0.1pp). A further rise, of 4.4%, is forecast next year.

After allowing for inflation, real adspend growth is expected to be 1.1% this year and 2.3% in 2016.

When measured using PPPs, the 12 markets studied in our International Ad Forecast account for just over two-thirds of global advertising expenditure, so act as a sufficient bellwether for the state of the industry at large. Many are considered mature, and therefore offer trend insights that will evolve in emerging markets over the coming years.

One such pattern is the shift in ad budgets from so called ‘traditional’ media to digital channels. This is epitomised by the rise of advertising via the internet, mainly under the umbrella forms of search and display, but increasingly among the macro formats of video, social and native. Further, mobile is now seen to be acting as a key driver of total online growth.


Subjects: Data, Advertising, Media

22 December 2015 16:17

The rise of programmatic
Posted by: MEC

Programmatic is not a revolution, but a necessary evolution and will drive agencies, advertisers, and media owners to understand and develop new ways of collaboration.

This post is by Martin Beauchamp, MEC.

The rampant rise of programmatic would not have failed to grab your attention, the industry is buzzing with excitement around the opportunities it can deliver on. according to e-Marketer its growth is rampant and puts programmatic digital display ad spends in the UK at £1.80bn (66%) in 2015.

Simply put, programmatic is becoming the new normal and is something agencies, advertisers, and media owners must now strive to understand and develop new ways of collaboration.


Subjects: Data, Digital

15 December 2015 11:12

Privacy and the importance of "informed choice"
Posted by: Lena Roland, Knowledge Officer, Warc
Lena Roland

Who owns your data? Who has access to it? How is it being used? Can it, will it, ever be used against you? How is data being managed? And can data ever discriminate? These were some of the important questions raised at a recent debate hosted in London by The Foundation, an independent growth and innovation consultancy.

Information is multiplying and in many ways is making life simpler and more convenient, but, according to Charlie Dawson, founding partner at The Foundation, people are becoming more and more aware that their entire lives can be "captured, examined and publicised" and so "consequences are starting to emerge", he warned.


Subjects: Consumers, Marketing, Data

13 November 2015 11:30

The value of brand valuations
Posted by: Brian Carruthers, News Editor, Warc
Brian Carruthers

Brand valuations are bullshit, according to Mark Ritson, associate professor at the Melbourne Business School. And he told an audience at the Festival of Marketing just why this was so, outlining three "sins" committed by those whose business it is to come up with them.

First up was variation: how is it possible, he asked, that they can value the same brands so differently – not just a few millions either way but billions of dollars. There were "outrageous differences", he declared, offering up the examples of Apple and Visa. While the three leading brand valuation businesses – Interbrand, BrandZ and Brand Finance – all agreed that Apple was the world's biggest brand, Brand Z's valuation of $247bn was almost twice that Brand Finance's $128bn. The difference of $119bn was, said an incredulous Ritson, equivalent to the GDP of Belarus. And when it came to Visa, BrandZ's valuation was 15 times greater than that of Interbrand.


Subjects: Brands, Data

13 November 2015 11:09

Warc/AA advertising expenditure summary
Posted by: MEC

All channels, apart from news and magazine brands, saw increases in adspend, with overall mobile adspend in the first half of 2015 hitting the billion-pound mark for the first time.

This post is by Emma Lane, MEC.

UK advertising expenditure reached a record high of £9,424m in the first half of 2015, according to the latest advertising association and Warc Expenditure report – an increase of 5.8% year on year.

News and magazine brands were the only formats to see drops in overall spend, reporting falls of -8.2% and -5.4% respectively. However, digital investment in these channels did see increases year on year, with a 13.3% increase in digital news brands spend and an 8% increase for magazine brands. All other channels saw increased investment, even TV spot advertising, which saw an impressive 7.1% increase year on year despite comparisons with H1 2014, in which the FIFA World Cup took place. This comes thanks to a strong Q1 performance where 11.5% growth was recorded.


Subjects: Data

09 November 2015 16:35

Marketing to mums
Posted by: MEC

With a plethora of information coming from traditional media, new media and word of mouth, brands that develop relevant messaging will appeal to mums.

This post is by Louise Twycross-Lewis, MEC.

Brands and marketers have long been attracted to the purchasing influence mums have on their households. With approximately 7 million mums in the UK, with children aged 15 and under in their households (source: GB TGI 2015 Q3), they are a sizeable chunk of the population. While it cannot be claimed that this audience is ignored, it is clear that brands are not always speaking to them in the right way.

Mintel's Marketing To Mums report details mothers' attitudes towards advertising, the role that the internet and social media has in their purchasing journeys, and highlights some of the ways of marketing to mums today.


Subjects: Consumers, Data

06 October 2015 10:36


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