Retail, alcohol and, somewhat unsurprisingly, recession were uppermost in the minds of WARC's UK users, judging from the top ten most downloaded articles in the region during 2008.

Sales of Magners Irish Cider may be struggling but an award-winning IPA case study for the brand was the most downloaded article of the year for this audience.

Likewise, Marks & Spencer may be struggling with shoppers, but a piece on its celebrated This is Your M&S re-positioning took the number three spot.

It was part of a strong showing by the high street with a study of Tesco's Green Clubcard occupying sixth place and Millward Brown's analysis of Hard times for retailers in tenth.

However, the latter piece may be part of a different trend – namely interest in marketing in the slowdown which struck the UK advertising sector in 2008.

Featured on WARC's dedicated recession page, the article Different approaches to recession advertising and marketing was the second-most downloaded piece among UK subscribers.

How to get ahead in a recession was at number seven and the aforementioned retail-themed recession piece a few places further down the list.

Curiousity about hardy perennial subjects such as segmentation and briefing creative agencies was also in evidence on the list.

But it would be a brave soul who predicts that a 2009 list of top UK WARC downloads will not feature just as many recession pieces 12 months from now.

Be that as it may, will continue to monitor subscriber downloads through 2009 and report which ad and marketing segments attract the most interest.

Data sourced from World Advertising Research Center (