Lean Year Slims British Ad Industry by 2.6%

29 May 2002

The days of wine and roses have ground to a halt.

After nine years of uninterrupted growth, total UK advertising expenditure fell by 2.6% - from £17 billion in 2000 to just over £16.5 billion in 2001, according to the latest study compiled for Britain's Advertising Association by the World Advertising Research Center. After adjusting for inflation, this represents a decline of 4.4%.

The figure of £16.5 billion for total UK adspend includes agency commission and production costs; it covers newspapers, magazines, directories, television, radio, outdoor, cinema, direct mail and the internet

Study highlights are …

• The share of advertising as a percentage of total economic activity in the UK fell from 2.04% in 2000 to 1.89% in 2001;

• All press advertising, including classified and production costs, totalled £8.5 billion in 2001, down 1% on 2000, or 3% in real terms. The press accounted for 51.5% of total display and classified advertising in 2001, and 35.7% of total display advertising. Directory advertising was the fastest growing press sector in 2001, up 10% on the figure for 2000, or by 8% in real terms;

• Television adspend, hard hit by recession, was down 10.7% on 2000, a fall in real terms of just over 12%;

• Advertising expenditure on radio meanwhile declined by 9% in current prices, and 11% in constant prices;

• In 2001 adspend in the outdoor sector was £788 million, down some 3% on 2000, and representing a fall in real terms of 4.5%;

• Cinema adspend reflected the success of the medium in attracting growing audiences through the year and expanded by 28% to £164 million, an increase in real terms of some 26%;

• Expenditure on direct mail totalled £2.2 billion in 2001, up 9% on 2000, and representing an increase of 7% in real terms;

• In 2001 adspend on the Internet grew by 7%, or 5% in real terms, to reach £166 million.

The data will appear in full in The Advertising Statistics Yearbook 2002, due to published shortly and available from WARC via AdStats.

Data sourced from: World Advertising Research Center