UK Christmas TV ad spending is projected to fall by as much as £44m this quarter, bucking a broader uplift in spend which defies an increasingly gloomy outlook for the High Street.
Figures published by the Advertising Association and Warc indicate that advertisers are reallocating this missing spend towards online media as part of a reassessment of priorities, with Facebook, Google and YouTube proving to be the principle beneficiaries.
A record £6.4bn is expected to be splurged on the UK ad market during the all-important Christmas run up, a rise of £300m on the equivalent period last year but TV spend is showing signs a slowdown amid a sustained siege from online rivals.
The latest estimates mark a sharp reversal from summer optimism when advertisers had expected fourth quarter TV spending to increase by 1.6% but which will now slip into negative territory with minus 1.4% growth, translating to a fall in TV spend to £1.43bn from £1.48bn.
By contrast digital media spend is projected to rise by 12% over the Christmas period to £3.5bn, an increase of £90m from a year prior.
Britain’s biggest retailers have already flaunted their Christmas wares in a series of themed promotions including Sainsbury's, M&S and KFC. By far the biggest impact has been made by Iceland, however, with a campaign went viral online after being 'banned' from broadcast.