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Adspend Advertising

Digital marketing lifts British ad growth projections through 2020


By John Glenday, Reporter

December 2, 2019 | 3 min read

GroupM has posted a bullish set of ad growth projections through this year and next, lifted by a growing share of spending being directed towards digital marketing at the expense of traditional companies.

The report from the media buying group for next year paints a buoyant picture of the UK advertising market which is projected to grow 7.8% in 2019, with 2020 falling not far behind at 6.7%, at which point the industry will be worth £24bn.

The report stated: “Despite all the uncertainty facing the United Kingdom in 2019, the media industry has held strong. Our estimate that advertising will grow by +7.8% this year marks the sixth consecutive year of mid-to-high-single-digit growth. Since 2013, the U.K.’s advertising sector has expanded by more than half, up +55% over that year’s levels, and, with that growth, the U.K. is unambiguously the fourth largest market on Earth.

“If recent growth trends were to persist, within five years the U.K. would possibly match Japan’s size and become the third-largest.”

Double-digit digital advertising growth of 15% in 2019 is being led by digital-first marketers including the likes of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Alphabet, eBay, IAC, Uber and who will collectively spend over £25bn in 2019.

Elsewhere traditional TV advertising is expected to be flat in 2020 following a 2.3% contraction this year as political uncertainty surrounding Brexit dissipates.

Not all traditional advertising mediums are becalmed however with outdoor setting the pace as the fastest-growing component, setting the pace at 8% this year before slipping to between 4 and 5% over the next five years.

There is no such silver lining for print however whose outlook continues to be classed as ‘weak’ with declines of 7% this year and 6% next year.

The report is significantly more optimistic than GroupM's last projection made as recently as June when 2019 ad spend was put at just 6.1%.

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