Quarterly TV ad spend breaks £1bn barrier for first time thanks to Rugby World Cup

Advertisers tying themselves to the Rugby World Cup helped push TV ad spend in the third quarter past the £1bn barrier for the first time, according to the Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report.

For better or worse, Guinness, O2, and Samsung were just some of the brands to up their ATL spend for the tournament, which saw the England team make an unexpectedly early exit.

Overall, television advertising rose 10.8 per cent for the period, driven by video-on-demand, which saw a 15.1 per cent increase in spend year-over-year.

Elsewhere, cinema spend grew 21.7 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter and, with the much-hyped Star Wars and the latest film in the James Bond saga both being released, estimates for 2015 advertising outlay on the medium have been revised up to 9.4 per cent.

Internet spend continued to grow (up 13.2 per cent) as did marekting budget being directed to mobile, which increased 40.2 per cent for the quarter. Overall, mobile spend accounted for 29 per cent of the internet total, up from 23.5 per cent for the same quarter a year ago.

With the total expenditure of £4.64bn (up 6.8 per cent year-on-year) for the quarter outperforming expectations, coupled with positive trends in consumer expenditure, AA/Warc has revised its full year 2015 ad spend estimate upwards by 0.3 percerntage points to 6.1 per cent, and the 2016 forecast revised upwards 0.2 percentage points to 5.6 per cent.

This has led the report's researchers to predict that ad spend will break £20bn annually for the first time this year.

Tim Lefroy, chief executive at the Advertising Association said: “This is the 9th successive quarter in which advertising growth ahead of GDP has helped to fuel the wider economy, and with growth of 5.6 per cent expected this year our adspend forecasts remain surprisingly strong.”

It reflects the outlook of the AA/Warc Expenditure Report for the first half of 2015, which detailed a 5.8 percent growth in advertising spend to reach a record high of £9.4bn. Growth in digital advertising was a large driver with a 13.3 per cent increase in internet spend to £3.9bn.

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