The report, which aims to rebuild advertising’s often tainted perception by highlighting that it makes a significant contribution, found for every £1 invested in advertising, £6 is generated for the wider economy.
More than £16bn was invested in advertising in the UK in 2011, and is set to increase this year.
Advertising is often criticised for encouraging irresponsible consumption, but the report aims to highlight its role in addressing social issues and driving much needed growth.
Tim Lefroy, chief executive of the AA, says: “[Investment in advertising] is bigger than spending money on building new roads, railways or stations where the conversion factor would be one to four. Spending money on advertising will grow the economy, will grow jobs and will make things better in this country.
Culture secretary Maria Miller told Marketing Week in her first press column since being appointed, that advertising’s contribution is on a par with that of manufacturing.
The three year study by the Advertising Association and Deloitte will be presented today (31 January) at the AA’s LEAD conference in London.
To deduce the contribution of advertising to the UK economy, Deloitte used data from Warc, World Bank, Nielsen and the International Labour Office. It modelled the economy without advertising spend and calculated that as ad spend increased, so did GDP.