UK advertising spend falls 19% in Q2

17 September 2009

LONDON: Total UK adspend slumped by 19% in the second quarter of this year at constant prices, according to figures from the latest Quarterly Survey of Advertising Expenditure, produced by WARC for the Advertising Association.

Expenditure levels have now fallen for six consecutive quarters – including a drop of 18.8% in Q1 this year – making this the worst period of decline since the survey began.

While press ad revenues have been hardest hit in the recession, and recorded a fall of over a quarter in Q2, the situation continued to worsen for almost all sectors of the advertising industry.

Overall, newspaper adspend fell by 27.6% in the period from April to June, while magazine revenues tumbled by a massive 33.3%.

The outdoor medium fared little better – down by 26.1% – while cinema saw a slide of 14.7%, and radio was down by 14.4%.

Online revenues were less badly affected, and were largely static in the three months to June, although this still marked an improvement on Q1's 1.7% decrease. Online recruitment, however, fell 38.9% in Q2.

The largest product sector, retail and mail order, has held up relatively well in the downturn, following up a decline of just 2.2% in Q1 with growth of 4.2% in Q2.

While motor manufacturers and financial services have significantly reined in their adspend, supermarkets boosted their outlay by 22% in the first half of this year on an annual basis.

The report attributes the rise to a need to gain favour with budget-conscious consumers.

Data sourced from the Quarterly Survey of Advertising Expenditure