Advertising spend is down just 0.4 per cent compared with last year, allowing for inflation, says the Advertising Association.
This equates to an overall rise of 181m and represents an increase of 1.7 per cent at current prices.
AA director general Andrew Brown says: “There’s no evidence of any slowdown other than in recruitment advertising.”
For the year 2000, the AA estimates an increase of 1.3 per cent in real terms. This equates to an overall rise of 381m at current prices, representing an increase of 3.6 per cent.
Brown says that, by then, recruitment advertising is expected to have recovered and market conditions to have improved.
In 1998 ad spend in the UK reached its highest level – 14.3bn.
This was an increase of 7.7 per cent on the previous year at current prices, or 4.1 per cent in real terms, according to the latest AA figures .
For seven consecutive years, advertising expenditure has risen, even after discounting the rate of inflation.
Advertising has also recorded its highest share of gross domestic product at 1.71 per cent, up on the previous year from 1.66 per cent, and exceeding the pre-recession peak in 1989 of 1.69 per cent.
Brown says: “This indicates how bad the recession was and how much more wealthy and more competitive the economy has become.”
Press continued to attract the highest proportion of overall advertising revenue at 52.3 per cent, down from 52.4 per cent in 1997.
TV, the second largest medium, has increased its share from 27.9 per cent in 1997 to 28.2 per cent.
The advertising spend figures will shortly be published in the Advertising Association’s Statistics Yearbook, published by NTC Publications.
v William Hague, the leader of the Conservative Party gave his support to self-regulation at the Advertising Association’s annual general meeting on Monday.
He backed a single European market that would not tolerate restrictions on advertising from individual countries, such as Greece’s ban on toy advertising.