UK ad spend surges to record high of £9.4bn driven by digital investment

UK advertising spend grew 5.8 percent in the first half of 2015 to reach a record high of £9.4bn, according to Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report data published today (20 October).

Growth in digital advertising was a large driver with a 13.3 per cent increase in internet spend to £3.9bn, with mobile accounting for 79 per cent of this growth. Mobile ad spend grew 52 per cent to break the billion pound barrier in a half-year period for the first time (£1.07bn).

Steady growth was also reported in the first half for radio (2.9 per cent), out of home (2.3 per cent), cinema (2.7 per cent) and direct mail (4.5 per cent). TV spot advertising performed particularly well, increasing 7.1 per cent year-on-year, despite 2014’s boost from the FIFA World Cup. Forecast ad spend for TV in 2015 has been revised upwards to 7.1 per cent.

Tim Lefroy, chief executive at the Advertising Association said: “Advertising's resilience points to the strength of the broader economy in the first half. The UK leads the world in e-commerce and the trend to mobile means serving the public better – ads in the right place at the right time.”

Separate research from Warc’s Global Adspend Database highlights the UK’s leading position, recording the highest spend on mobile advertising in Europe and the third highest spend globally, after the US and China.

Advertising spend is predicted to break the £20bn barrier in 2016, with a 5.8 per cent rise in 2015 and a 5.3 per cent rise in 2016.

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