The UK’s TV advertising market appears set to brush off a disappointing 2017, when the sector fell back from a record high of £5.28bn the year prior to just £5.11bn, by posting a welcome return to annual growth this year.
Confidence is high as beneath these headline figures FMCG spend on TV advertising actually grew by 8% in the fourth quarter, according to Nielsen, versus a year earlier while UK broadcaster as a whole recorded a 2% increase over the same period. Furthermore figures produced by the Advertising Association/WARC predict 1.5% annual growth for 2018.
An assessment by Thinkbox, the marketing body for commercial TV stations, brushes off the 2017 dip as a blip rather than an augur of long term decline, with online businesses in particular keen to invest in the sector – although consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble remains by far the most viewed single advertiser with 33.5bn views.
2017 proved to be a perfect storm for a market buffeted by economic and political uncertainty, exacerbated by a devaluation of the pound and inflationary pressures which saw FMCG advertisers in particular row back on spend.
Lindsey Clay, chief executive of Thinkbox, said: “Post-recession, TV advertising in the UK had 7 consecutive years of growth. But TV hyper-reacts to the economy, good or bad, and recent uncertainty saw growth stall in 2017. That growth is now returning.
“The pendulum is swinging back to TV. We have more proof than ever that TV advertising drives business growth and outperforms all other forms of advertising. TV is a proven, trusted, high quality environment for brands.
“And TV’s strengths and unique assets have been thrown into even sharper relief recently following the much-publicised scandals and loss of trust in some areas of online advertising. Advertisers are re-assessing where they advertise and TV is well placed to capitalise.”
Across 2017 the five biggest spending categories in TV advertising were online £682m); Food (£559m); cosmetics and personal care ((£431m); entertainment and leisure (£385) and finance (£324m).
An industry voice, Thinkbox reckons that TV remains the safest and most profitable form of advertising.