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WARC Report 2017 Reveals UK Advertising Delivers Strongest H1 on Record

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The Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report 2017 is the definitive measure of this years' UK advertising activity

WARC Report 2017 Reveals UK Advertising Delivers Strongest H1 on Record

UK advertising expenditure grew 3.7% to £10.8bn during the first six months of 2017, the largest H1 total of any year since monitoring began in 1982. The record investment highlighted in Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report data, published today, has led to an upgraded forecast for 2017 of 3.1% growth, which indicates annual spend in excess of £22bn. 

Overall market growth is being driven by increased spend on digital advertising. Digital – defined as internet and digital out of home (DOOH) - accounted for 54% of all advertising spend in the first half of the year, some £5.8bn of a total £10.8bn committed by advertisers. 

The first half growth was boosted by a 4.0% year-on-year rise during Q2. This was the 16th consecutive quarter of market growth, and the strongest rate since Q4 2015. 

Mobile growth of 36.1% was the main contributor to a 13.0% rise in internet spend during the quarter. Other digital formats are also performing strongly, including national newsbrands (+7.9%), regional newsbrands (+10.4%), TV broadcaster video-on-demand (+10.6%), digital out of home (+30.4%) and digital advertising formats for radio (+38.9%). 

Other media - cinema (+14.4%) and direct mail (+0.8%) – also recorded growth during the second quarter of 2017. 

Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive at the Advertising Association said: 

“Spend on advertising is showing strong resilience, at a time of real uncertainty for UK business. We know advertising has a positive effect on the economy, with every pound spent generating six pounds of GDP, so it is good to see steady, sustained growth. The upgrade of our 2017 forecast by a further one percent, the equivalent of an additional investment of £190M, should be seen as a cautious indicator for continued growth in the UK economy.” 

James McDonald, Senior Data Analyst at WARC commented: 

“The latest data highlight the importance of mobile to advertisers in the UK – spend on mobile ads accounted for the entirety of internet growth during the second quarter of 2017 and 97% over the first six months of the year. As mobile usage and credit-fueled consumer spending continue to rise, investment in mobile advertising will track ahead of other platforms this year.”

The Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report is the definitive measure of advertising activity in the UK. It is the only source that uses advertising expenditure gathered from across the entire media landscape, rather than relying on estimated or modelled data.  


Adspend 2016 (Łm) 2016 v 2015 Forecast 2017 Forecast 2018
Full-year forecast summary % change % change % change
Internet* 10,257 12.90% 10.70% 6.50%
of which mobile 3,852 44.80% 32.00% 18.50%
TV 5,277 0.20% -2.40% 2.80%
of which VoD 197 12.60% 9.80% 12.00%
Direct mail 1,719 -10.10% -1.20% -5.00%
Out of home 1,123 6.10% 1.40% 3.40%
of which digital 423 25.60% 25.50% 21.30%
National newsbrands 1,096 -10.40% -7.80% -6.70%
of which digital 230 4.90% 11.30% 4.30%
Regional newsbrands 1,021 -13.20% -12.80% -9.80%
of which digital 193 -3.40% 3.90% 0.20%
Magazine brands 877 -6.80% -11.00% -6.80%
of which digital 282 0.20% -3.50% 0.10%
Radio 646 5.40% 4.20% 2.70%
of which digital 28 35.00% 19.40% 17.40%
Cinema 258 8.40% 12.60% 4.00%
TOTAL UK ADSPEND 21,344 3.50% 3.10% 2.80%
* Broadcaster VoD, digital revenues for newsbrands and magazine brands, radio station websites and mobile advertising spend are
also included within the internet total of Ł10,257m, so care should be taken to avoid double counting.
Source: AA/WARC Expenditure Report, October 2017



At-a-glance media summary – Q2/H1 2017 Q2 2017 v Q2 2016 H1 2017 v H1 2016
% change % change
Internet* 13.00% 13.80%
of which mobile 36.10% 38.10%
TV -2.50% -4.40%
of which VoD 10.60% 8.80%
Direct mail 0.80% -0.40%
Out of home 1.70% 0.60%
of which digital 30.40% 29.10%
National newsbrands -10.70% -8.50%
of which digital 7.90% 15.60%
Regional newsbrands -14.70% -15.30%
of which digital 10.40% 4.00%
Magazine brands -16.30% -15.20%
of which digital -9.20% -9.00%
Radio 11.10% 5.20%
of which digital 38.90% 22.20%
Cinema 14.40% 21.00%
TOTAL UK ADSPEND 4.00% 3.70%
* Broadcaster VoD, digital revenues for newsbrands and magazine brands, radio station websites and mobile advertising spend are also included within the internet total, so care should be taken to avoid double counting.
Source: AA/WARC Expenditure Report, October 2017
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lbbonline.com, Tue, 31 Oct 2017 10:01:45 GMT