World Cup marketing blitz lifts UK ad spend forecasts for 2015

The World Cup is set to give a big boost to the UK advertising market, pushing expenditure forecasts up for the rest of the year and in 2015 as advertisers prepare to plough more of their media outlay into online and mobile channels.

Marketers are planning to invest more on marketing in 2014, spurred by the World Cup and improving economy.

The latest Advertising Assocation/Warc report reveals spend in 2014 is expected to jump by 6 per cent this year, an upgrade on the 5.5 per cent prediction made in April.  It is a similar story for next year’s figure, which has been revised from 6.5 per cent to 6.7 per cent off the back of a recovering economy and greater confidence in mobile.

Mobile is set to increase by two thirds (75 per cent) this year and by nearly a half (46 per cent) in 2015 to hit £1.8bn and £2.65bn respectively. The shift is likely to lift total internet spend by 75 per cent in 2014 and 47 per cent in 2015, the researchers said. Brands such as Adidas and Coke have upped spend in mobile to exploit demand for second-screen content around the World Cup, while Pernod Ricard and Mondelez are looking to next year to make significant gains from the channel.

Television and radio are also set to benefit from the tournament this year with spend on the former jumping 5 per cent in the first quarter to reach £4.4bn, ahead of the 4.5 per cent rise previously predicted. The rate of increase is set to ease in the third quarter, according to the report, reflecting the decision of many advertisers to bring their budgets forward specifically for the event. Radio is expected to take the momentum from a 5.7 per cent year-on-year rise in the first quarter through to the second before slowing for the rest of the year to deliver a 4.7 per cent rise in 2014 – the sector’s best performance since 2003.

Out of home spend is set to bounce back from a 2.2 per cent drop at the start of the year to deliver a 2.7 per cent increase for the whole year.   

Karen Fraser, strategy director at the Advertising Association, says: “This latest set of data shows the importance of global events such as the World Cup to advertising spend in the UK. Following a positive start to the year in Q1, Q2 is set to be a strong quarter for the sector, buoyed by the tournament.”

The rise in budgets is reflected in the demand for talent. Spend on recruiting advertising professionals grew in both the final quarter of 2013 (3.7 per cent) and the first of quarter of 2014 (2.6 per cent), pushing this year’s forecasts to  £521m. It comes after the industry posted 21 quarters of decline out of the last 25.

A separate report from recruitment consultants Robert Walters indicated that the recrutiment drive will be for junior and entry-level marketing professionals as brands look to build their teams from the ground-up.

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