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.

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