UK ad spend shows recovery, according to Warc

UK ad spend has grown for the first time after six consecutive quarters of decline, according to the latest Advertising Association/Warc data.

Tim Lefroy, chief executive at the Advertising Association
Tim Lefroy, chief executive at the Advertising Association

The latest AA/Warc expenditure report shows growth of 3.4% in the first quarter of this year and predicts overall market growth of 3.3% in 2010, a revised forecast, up from 2.3%. Total ad spend is now expected to reach £14.98bn, up by £0.5bn from 2009.

It says that TV will be the main driver of UK advertising spend growth this year with growth of 9.1%.The strongest media performer year-on-year for Q1 was out-of-home, up 14.6%, followed by TV, up 9.8%, internet, up 9.2%, radio, up 8.7% and cinema, up 3%. Print, embracing newspapers and magazines, dropped 2.9%.

Financial advertising returned to growth in Q1, up 0.4%, for the first time since Q3 in 2007.

However, the report points out that COI advertising is set to be reduced considerably and the government and charity sector is expected to register a double digit decline this year. It accounted for 7.2% of total ad spend in 2009.

Tim Lefroy (pictured), chief executive at the Advertising Association, says: “Despite the doomsday predictions as the government slashes ad spend, the industry is in good health. Overall performance is actually outstripping the official forecasts.”

WPP Group has just predicted full year like-for-like revenue growth of 2% for its marketing service operations.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here