UK Adspend Axed in Credit Crunch Cull

14 August 2008

LONDON: Nearly £115 million ($218.56m; €146.63m) in advertising expenditure was lopped from the budgets of Britain's major advertisers during H1 2008. The pain was most felt by TV and the press, reports UK industry journal Media Week.

Based on Nielsen Media Research adspend data spanning five major product categories (motor, finance, food, entertainment/media and drink), the most draconian expenditure-slashing came from the finance and food categories, down respectively by 7.5% and 8.2%.

Media owners and media-buying agencies believe (with crossed fingers) that the rate of adspend decline will level out in H2, although they still expect the period to be down versus 2007.

How Total Adspend Changed by Media Sector …

  • Cinema: (Up) £13.82m
  • Radio: (Down) £10.4m
  • Outdoor: (Down) £19.8m
  • Press: (Down) £28m
  • Internet: (Down) £33.8m
  • TV: (Down) £34.7m
Data refers to year-on-year change in adspend by the five main product categories, January-June 2008, compared with the same period in 2007.
Source: Nielsen Media Research

Variation by the Five Main Categories …

  • Food: Minus 8.2%. Spend totalled £334.7m in the first half of 2008. Increases in cinema (132.6%), offset by drops in press (-12.4%), TV (-0.78%) and outdoor (-60.9%). 
  • Motor: Minus 0.04%. Spend broadly flat at £439.4m in this period. 
  • Finance: Minus 7.5%. Spend down to £766.3m with the credit crunch hitting banks' willingness to provide credit products. 
  • Entertainment/Media: Minus 4%. Spend down because, in 2007, Sky, Virgin and Setanta were locked in a price war. 
  • Drink: Plus 0.98%. Spend up from £179m to £180.9m. Drink clients cut spend from radio (-28.5%), cinema (-30%) and press (-11.3%)
Data refers to adspend across radio, cinema, outdoor, press, TV and online from January to June 2008 compared with January to June 2007.
Source: Nielsen Media Research

Data sourced from Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff