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UK ad spend ends 2018 on £23.5bn high note

UK ad spend rose 5.1% year-on-year to reach £5.6bn in Q3 2018, marking the 21st consecutive quarter of market growth and the industry’s strongest third quarter of the year since 2015.

This record investment highlighted bu the Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report underpins the preliminary estimate for 2018 ad spend of £23.5bn – meaning the industry will have grown 6.0% year-on-year.

Key headlines from the report show:

* Q3 2018 was the 21st consecutive quarter of adspend market growth

* UK adspend rose 5.1% year-on-year to reach £5.6bn in Q3 2018

* The preliminary adspend estimate for 2018 remains at £23.5bn – meaning growth of +6.0% year-on-year

* Q3 2018 saw the strongest third quarter growth since 2015 – the first nine months of 2018 also saw the strongest growth since 2015

* Mobile saw a growth rate of 23.6% y-o-y in Q3, with overall internet growth at 12.3%

Overall market growth is being driven by increasing spend on online advertising, which is expected to grow 9.8% this year, following on from an estimated 13.4% rise in 2018.

In the individual formats, the positive story for digital was reflected across the board. Notably high growth was recorded for digital radio ad formats, with a year-on-year rise in Q3 of +25.1%, and in VoD TV at +11.5%. Regional digital newsbrands witnessed growth of +10.9%, with national digital newsbrands measuring +3.7% growth, and digital magazine brands +1.5%.

Discussing the findings from the report, Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive at the Advertising Association, said: “UK advertising continues to perform strongly, now delivering its twenty-first straight quarter of growth and demonstrating the commitment of British advertisers to investing in the growth and success of their businesses.

“As the clock ticks down to our departure from the EU, it is crucial the Government provides the certainty we are all seeking in business. We are predicting continued adspend growth of 4.6% in 2019 and an agreement with the EU that keeps disruption at a minimum and keeps trade and talent flowing will greatly help this growth. UK advertising is the best in the world and we need a deal that ensures we keep it that way.”

James McDonald, Data Editor at WARC, said: “Our projection of 4.6% growth in the UK’s ad market this year is firmly based on a business- favourable outcome from the EU withdrawal agreement, and would mark a decade of continuous expansion since the last advertising recession.

“Further, a preliminary estimate of 6% growth in advertising investment last year represents a faster rate of expansion than was recorded in 2017, and is therefore indicative of an industry in rude heath. This is particularly true in relation to digital ad formats, all of which are currently forecast to attract higher levels of investment in 2019.”

UK advertising spend to hit £22.1bn for 2017

UK advertising spend in Q3 2017 rose 3.5% year-on-year to reach £5.4bn – the 17th consecutive quarter of market growth.

According to the latest Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report, the data underpins preliminary figures which show 2017 spending grew to £22.1bn – representing the eighth consecutive year of market growth.

Further findings indicate that total UK adspend over the first nine months of 2017 was 3.5% (£551m) higher than the previous year. The preliminary estimate for 2017 growth is 3.4% (to £22.1bn), an upgrade of 0.3 points since October’s forecast.

The projection for total market growth in 2018 is 2.8% (to £22.7bn).

Advertising Association Stephen Woodford said: “As we work through Brexit, we need to help Government make the best decisions to support our industry and, by extension, the wider UK economy as we target growth across the nations and regions and in an increasingly global marketplace.”

www.adassoc.org.uk