UK Advertising Forecast is Optimistic on TV

29 November 2005

Un upbeat report from Omnicom's media negotiating unit believes ad skipping technology will not sound the much-feared death knell for traditional television commercials in the UK.

Opera's Economic and Media Forecast predicts that by 2010 British viewers with Sky+ and similar personal video services will time-shift half their viewing and avoid 64% of commercial breaks.

Opera believes this equates with a 6% loss of commercial audience for advertisers, but finds that other factors will "negate this supply loss".

The company predicts the switchover from terrestrial TV to digital services (due to be completed by 2012), with its proliferation of commercial channels, will see people watching the publicly-funded and ad-free BBC less as they are given more viewing choice.

The report forecasts that TV advertising will grow by 2.5% in 2006, despite a difficult year for the terrestrial channels of the country's biggest commercial broadcaster, ITV.

It says the Contract Rights Renewal agreement, which allows advertisers to pull money out of the flagship ITV1 channel if its audience share declines, has been an "unmitigated disaster" for the company.

However, the report forecasts that TV's overall share of display advertising will be 39.4% in 2006, only 6% lower than in 1992.

"This suggests that whilst the medium faces obvious challenges, faith in traditional spot advertising remains largely unchecked," says Opera.

The report puts total UK adspend for 2006 at £13.2 billion ($22.64bn; €19.31bn), up 3.1% on 2005. Display adspend for 2006 is put at £9.9bn, up 4.5%.

Adspend on commercial radio is expected to slide from £592 million to £587m, and the lower end of the newspaper market is also predicted to suffer.

The online sector is predicted to perform strongly next year, taking its share of advertising up to a 10% share by 2007, up from its current 8.6% share.

Data sourced from and Brand Republic (UK); additional content by WARC staff