Advertising expenditure in the UK rose 5.4% - before accounting for inflation - to £18.4 billion ($35.9bn; €26.52bn) in 2004, according to data released by the Advertising Association today (Tuesday).

This growth - which equates to a 4.0% rise in real terms - represents the strongest annual increase in UK adspend for four years.

The press accounted for substantially the largest share of total advertising expenditure (47.8%), with TV the second largest medium (25.8%), followed by direct mail (13.4%), out-of-home (5.4%), radio (3.3%), internet (3.2%) and cinema (1.0%).

However, excluding all but display advertising, TV was the biggest medium with a 33.9% share with the press a close runner-up at 31.4%.

By individual media sector the key data [unadjusted for inflation] are ...

  • TV expenditure rose by 5.4% to £4,740m in nominal terms: a rise of 4.0% at constant prices.

  • Press advertising expenditure in regional newspapers and directories grew by 6.0% and 5.5% respectively in nominal terms, and by 4.6% and 4.1% respectively in real terms. Other press sectors all returned to growth both in current prices and real terms following falls in advertising expenditure in 2003.

  • Despite slowing in the fourth quarter, out-of-home advertising achieved an overall 7.8% increase to £986 million.

  • The cinema sector saw a 6.7% rise to £192 million.

  • Radio advertising expenditure increased by 3.4% - from £584m to £604m - although this represents a slowdown in growth from the 2003 rate.

  • Internet advertising expenditure in 2004 is estimated at £597m - an increase of 46.4% on the previous year. [This incorporates both a WARC estimate of full-year Internet Advertising Bureau figures plus data from the WARC survey of on-line recruitment advertising expenditure.]
UK advertising statistics will be published in full this June in the AA's Advertising Statistics Yearbook 2005. For further details click here

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff