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Advertising AA/Warc Expenditure Report

UK ad spend up for 8th consecutive year although growth to slow in 2018


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

January 25, 2018 | 3 min read

UK ad spend rose in 2017, outperforming the Advertising Association (AA) and Warc's projections of 3.1% growth by 0.3%.

AA Warc

UK ad spend rises yet again

For the eighth consecutive year, spend was up, hitting a record high of £22.1bn in 2017. It also also expected to rise again in 2018, by a thinner margin of 2.8%.

The UK accounted for 4.8% share of global spend, making it the fourth-largest ad market in the world after the US, China and Japan. The UK also comprises a fifth of European ad spend. Globally, spend is projected to see an uplift of 4.7%, fuelled in part by booming growth in developing markets. The market will be valued at 572bn.

Stephen Woodford, chief executive of the AA, said: "UK advertising enjoyed a record 2017, with growth up year on year. UK advertising is an economic powerhouse, generating £6 for every £1 spent. And the success of the UK as a global hub for advertising is founded on our creative talent – both home grown and from overseas.

"As 2018 progresses, the AA aims to encourage growth in advertising across the nations and regions of the UK, and to continue to make the case for the best deal possible from Brexit negotiations for our industry to ensure it remains a world leader.”

James McDonald, data editor at WARC, added: "Ad investment is set to grow at its strongest rate since the post recovery years of 2010 and 2011. All global regions, with the exception of the Middle East, are expected to register growth, supported by key quadrennial events – notably the Winter Olympics in South Korea, the FIFA World Cup in Russia and the US mid-term elections."

This growth will predominantly be driven by mobile, which now accounts for one in five ad dollars worldwide.

Advertising AA/Warc Expenditure Report

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