Advertising Europe World Federation of Advertisers

Advertising generates 4.6% of European GDP, finds WFA backed study, as calls mount for moratorium on restrictions


By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

January 16, 2017 | 3 min read

A study commissioned by the World Federation of Advertisers into the impact of advertising within the EU has found that it contributes nearly six million jobs across the EU and 4.6% of total GDP.


WFA's new research on impact of advertising in EU

The findings were revealed as the WFA leads calls for a moratorium on further restrictions on advertising “to ensure that the overall impact of any new rules, including their unintended consequences, is fully assessed.”

Titled ‘Value of Advertising’ the study was conducted by Deloitte and aimed to be the first-ever EU-wide report to isolate the economic and social contribution of advertising.

Using econometric modelling, it found that for every euro spent on advertising is estimated to add an additional seven euros to GDP. And the €92bn spent on advertising in 2014 in the EU would have contributed €643bn to GDP, representing 4.6% of the overall EU GDP.

It also found that advertising provides almost six million jobs in the EU, equivalent to 2.6% of all EU employment. This was measure both in terms of jobs directly related to the production of advertising (accounting for 16% of the 5.8m total jobs supported) as well as indirectly. In this case, jobs created in media and online businesses – such as journalists – couples with sales jobs and roles supporting the ad business in industries such as hospitality (accounting for 74% of the 5.8m jobs.)

“Advertising is a vital economic engine that encourages competition, drives innovation in business and provides significant benefits to society by funding or part funding media services, from news to entertainment,” said Stephan Loerke, chief executive of the World Federation of Advertisers.

“Policy-makers should be mindful that ad restrictions have important economic, social, and cultural consequences.”

Currently, the industry has its eyes on the revised Audio Visual Media Services and ePrivacy directives and fears that it could create additional restrictions.

On the back of this study, it’s calling for a moratorium on further restrictions on advertising to ensure that the overall impact of any new rules, including their unintended consequences, is fully assessed.

“Advertising matters for employment, innovation, culture and entertainment, and supports media plurality, which is fundamental to democratic freedoms. The benefits are pervasive and run through the fabric of society,” said Loerke.

In addition to the WFA funding the research, other partners included: the Advertising Association UK (AA), Association des Agences-Conseils en Communication (AACC), Association of European Radios (AER), European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA), European Broadcasting Union (EBU), The Association of television and radio sales houses (EGTA), Internet Advertising Bureau EU (IAB EU), Mainostajien Liitto Finland, Organisation Werbungtreibende im Markenverband (OWM), Union des Annonceurs (UDA), and Union des Entreprises de Conseil et Achat Media (UDECAM).

Advertising Europe World Federation of Advertisers

More from Advertising

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +