LONDON: Total UK adspend fell by 3.9% in 2008, including a decline of 9.6% in the fourth quarter, with online the only medium to enjoy overall growth, according to figures from the Quarterly Survey of Advertising Expenditure, produced by WARC for the Advertising Association.

In terms of the prospects for the UK media industry during the downturn, the web has been identified as the only likely "winner" as advertisers re-direct their budgets from more traditional channels.

Online advertising expenditure rose by 17.3% in 2008 (including an estimate for the second half of the year), although the medium's overall expansion was down from the total of 39.5% recorded in 2007.

Newspaper adspend suffered most heavily last year, declining by 12.0% on an annual basis, with magazine revenues also decreasing by 9.9% in all.

Radio revenues fell by 8.5%, with direct mail posting a drop off of 6%, and television down by 4.9%.

Outdoor expenditure also fell by 3.8%, and cinema ad revenues slipped by just 0.9%.

From 2003–08, UK adspend increased by 10.9%, with online revenues up by over 600%, meaning the web now has a share of total adspend bigger than magazines, outdoor, radio and cinema combined.

Among the broadcast media, TV spending was up by 2.6% between 2003 and 2008, while radio saw advertising revenues fall by 13.6%.

Outdoor adspend rose by 19.4% – largely thanks to the introduction of new technology such as digital signage – with cinema also up by 12.9%.

By contrast, direct mail was down by 17.3%, newspapers by 15.3%, and magazines by 13.5% for the five-year period, during which time print saw its share of the ad market fall from 45% to 35% overall.

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For more information about the Quarterly Survey of Advertising Expenditure, click here.

Data sourced from the Quarterly Survey of Advertising Expenditure