The latest Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report has found that total UK adspend grew 5.9 per cent to £5.7 billion (€6.3bn) in Q1 2018, 1.3 percentage points ahead of forecast.
Despite the uncertainty in the UK business community over the possible outcomes of Brexit, companies appear bullish on the effect of advertising, leading to the AA/WARC updating its forecasts for this year and next(up 0.6 percentage points to 4.8 per cent and 0.7 percentage points to 4.5 per cent respectively).
The report shows dgital is bringing new power to legacy media. Radio overall showed strong growth of 12.5 per cent year-on-year – its best in four years. Looking at digital ad formats illuminates the greater shift: spend on digital formats was up 39.3 per cent year-on-year.
TV also posted relatively healthy growth of 5 per cent overall, but it was catch-up VoD that saw greater growth with an 11.9 per cent year-on-year increase.
Total Internet spend rose 10.8 per cent to £3.1 billion with search accounting for over half of this and almost three in every ten pounds spent on advertising in the UK.
“Online ad formats – particularly search and social media – continue to over perform, but traditional media are also proving their worth to advertisers”, said James McDonald, WARC’s Data Editor. “Notable among these are radio, TV, out of home and national newsbrands, with the latter carrying on from a good final quarter in 2017 to reverse a seven year downturn in display revenue.”
Commenting on the quarterly figures, the strongest in three years, Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive of the Advertising Association said the report reflected the resilience of the UK economy, adding that investment in advertising is not only good for company profits but also for the country.
“If Government can secure a good outcome from the Brexit negotiations and introduce a business-friendly immigration policy, we should continue to see sustained UK market growth and continued export success for advertising”, he predicts.