LONDON: Advertising spend on TV spot grew at over three times the rate of desktop internet during the first half of this year, according to figures from the Advertising Association and Warc released this week.

The AA/Warc UK Expenditure Report shows that TV spot has had a strong start to 2015, with 11.5% growth in adspend recorded during the first quarter and 2.9% in the second, all the more impressive as the latter compares to a quarter in which the football World Cup was held last year.

As a result, advertising expenditure for TV spot rose 7.1% to £2.4bn over the first six months of 2015. This compares to annual growth of just 2.1% for desktop internet adspend over the same period, with ad revenues amounting to £2.8bn. Desktop spend rose 3.0% over the first three months of 2015, but slowed to just 1.3% in the second quarter.

Further, on a 'pure play' basis, excluding revenues such as broadcaster VOD from internet, desktop adspend grew just half a percent in the first six months of 2015. Within this, desktop display adspend rose 1.1% year-on-year in H1 2015, with spend four times less than that for spot.

Forecasts for growth in TV spot adspend have been revised upwards by AA/Warc to +6.7% for the year, while TV ad revenue as a whole – inclusive of spot, sponsorship, VOD, advertiser-funded programming and product placement – is expected to come in 7.1% higher than in 2014.

Should it come to pass, this will mark TV's strongest performance since 2010, with adspend surpassing £5bn for the first time.

"TV advertising's continued strong performance reflects both the wealth of independent evidence proving its effectiveness and advertisers' own experience of seeing it work," said Matt Hill, research and planning director at Thinkbox.

"Looking at where the growth has come from, there has been increased investment in all major marketing categories, with the highest growth coming from both online companies and longer standing FMCG brands looking to harness the brand building power of TV," he added.

Data sourced from AA, Warc