The UK advertising industry has saw spend rise ahead of forecasts in the first quarter of 2018, up 5.9% year-on-year to £5.7bn, marking the 19th consecutive quarter of growth.
“Our latest advertising expenditure figures reflect the resilience of the wider UK economy, where consumer confidence is improved, and the jobs market remains very strong. UK advertising continues to show steady growth with more businesses investing more spend in advertising,” said Stephen Woodford, chief executive at the Advertising Association.
“This investment boosts company profits and overall GDP, creates more jobs and helps our media sector to continue to invest in the creative content and technology that the public values.”
According to the AA/Warc report, the biggest drivers of spend in the quarter included radio, which was up 12.5% to record its strongest growth in four years, and digital where spend was up 10.8%, specifically search spend which now accounts for almost three in ten pounds spent on advertising in the UK.
Out of home and TV were also up 5.3% and 5% respectively, along with print display ad revenue for national newsbrands which rose for the first time in seven years.
It comes in the face of continued concern over the ongoing Brexit negotiations. The AA, the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), Accenture and Deloitte last month joined forced to outline their demands in a letter to prime minister Theresa May.
“If government can secure a good outcome from the Brexit negotiations and introduce a business-friendly immigration policy, we should continue to see sustained UK market growth and continued export success for advertising,” continued Wooford.
In spite of the uncertainty, adspend growth forecasts for this year and next have been upgraded, by 0.6 percentage points to 4.8% and 0.7 percentage points to 4.5% respectively. If proved correct, this would conclude a decade of continuous growth, and result in investment of over £24bn in 2019.
See below for a full summary of the 2018 forecasts