The media buyer calculates that a spend of £18.8bn in 2017 will be surpassed this year with an estimate of £19.9bn before smashing the £20bn barrier the following year.
These figures will be achieved courtesy of growth of 6.1% in 2018, down from 6.4% growth in 2017 – a downward trend that is expected to continue into 2019 which is only expected to grow by 5.1%. Leading the charge in this growth will be pure play internet which will account for 61% of measured advertising by 2019.
On the other side of the coin investment in print media continues its remorseless fall but national newspapers are beginning to turn a corner through investment in digital media, which could comprise 31% of their total ad revenue in 2018.
Television presented a more mixed picture with advertising falling 2.4% in 2017, only to rebound slightly in 2018 and 2019 with growth of 1.7% and 2% respectively as online media consumption remains on track to overtake linear TV this year.
Adam Smith, futures director at GroupM said: “UK advertising investment is growing faster than the economy, defying Brexit chaos and bouts of consumer fatigue. One reason is colossal digitisation in media and in marketing practice, driving up competition, standards and innovation. Another is the scale of the tail.
“We must, however, beware of diseconomies of excessive specialism and short-termism. We need more technology but fewer technicians. Automation including AI must increase to liberate human brains for advertising strategy.”
The UK remains the world’s fourth largest advertising market valued in dollars and will be the third largest contributor to global growth this year behind the US and China.