UK adspend up at fastest rate since 2010

28 October 2014

LONDON: Advertising expenditure in the UK grew at its fastest rate in three years during the second quarter of 2014 according to the data from the Advertising Association and Warc.

The latest Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report – a definitive measure of advertising activity in the UK, being the only source that uses advertising expenditure gathered from across the entire media landscape – showed adspend increasing at 8.5% year-on-year to reach £4,515m for the quarter.

This was the highest growth since the third quarter of 2010, and significantly ahead of the overall economy which was up 3.2% year on year to Q2 2014. The Report revised upwards its earlier full-year forecast, by 0.4 percentage points to 6.4%.

"Growth at twice the rate of UK GDP is quite a headline," said Tim Lefroy, Chief Executive at the Advertising Association, "but the real story is of digital and creative leadership in e-commerce."

The summer World Cup in Brazil also helped, with TV spot advertising surging ahead 10.7% year on year to a Q2 total of £1,118m; overall first half growth of 8.3% is not expected to be sustained for the second half, with a lower figure of 6.7% predicted.

Double digit growth figures were recorded by two other channels as well. Radio was up 17.7% to £119m, and with annual growth projected to be 8.3%, the report said this would be the sector's best performance since 2000.

Internet adspend increased 17.2% in Q2 and AA/Warc anticipated overall growth of 15.1% in 2014. Expectations for mobile growth, however, were moderated down from July's forecast of 75% to 56%.

While digital expenditure has been growing across the nation's news and magazine brands it has not reached sufficient momentum to offset the decline in print.

The trend was especially evident for regional news brands where a 27.9% increase in digital revenues, to £44m, was eclipsed by a 5.2% drop in print, to £280m. Over the full year the report is now predicting an overall 5.0% decline.

A similar picture emerged for magazine brands, with a 10.2% decline for print (to £188m) and a 5.0% uptick for digital (to £66m). Total adspend is predicted to decline 3.3% this year.

National newsbrands fared only marginally better. Print ad revenues declined by 5.0% in Q2 2014 to £296m, with digital adspend up 9.9%, to £48m. AA/Warc predicts a decline of 2.8% for the year.

Among the remaining channels, out of home adspend increased 6.4% to £259m in Q2, with a rise of 3.4% forecast for the year as a whole. Cinema adspend saw year-on-year growth of 5.3% in Q2 to £45m, with growth of 6.7% predicted for the year.

Data sourced from AA, Warc