Digital surge drives UK advertising's fastest growth for four years

UK advertising spend grew last year at its highest rate since 2010 and is forecast to exceed £20 billion next year, according to a report released today.

Virgin Holidays: one of the many brands to use digital advertising last year
Virgin Holidays: one of the many brands to use digital advertising last year

The Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure report said adspend increased by 5.8 per cent in 2014 to £18.6 billion.

The biggest increases in adspend came through digital, with internet advertising rising 15 per cent and mobile adspend climbing 58.9 per cent.

Tim Lefroy, the chief executive at the Advertising Association, said it was an exciting time for the UK as the world’s leading e-commerce economy.

He said: "It’s time to stop thinking of digital as something that lives on the internet. In cinemas, outdoor, news, television and elsewhere, advertising is seizing the opportunity of new technology.

"That trend is transforming our media, driving growth and keeping UK advertising ahead of the global competition."

The AA recently predicted that 70,000 new advertising-related jobs would be created over the next five years, which is double the rate of the UK average. If that growth is achieved the number of people working in the sector will reach 434,000 by 2019.

Most media experienced growth last year, compared to 2013, with the exception of national newspapers, magazines and direct mail. But digital revenues faired better at news and magazine brands, with a 16.4 per cent increase for newspapers and 24.7 per.cent increase for magazines.

Cinema advertising growth was also strong last year – up 9.4 per cent – but the AA predicts the increases in 2015 and 2016 will not be as strong.

Total UK adspend is predicted to grow at broadly the same rate over the same period at an average of 5.6 per cent.

Adspend 2014 (£m) 2014 vs 2013 Forecast 2015 Forecast 2016
(% change) (% change) (% change)
TV 4,911 5.8% 5.1% 5.5%
of which spot advertising 4,463 5.4% 4.4% 4.6%
of which broadcaster VOD 145 15.1% 17.2% 20.6%
Radio 575 7.2% 5.0% 3.7%
Out of home 1,019 3.0% 4.1% 4.5%
National newsbrands 1,370 -4.7% -1.8% -0.2%
of which digital 214 16.4% 14.2% 14.7%
Regional newsbrands 1,253 -3.6% -3.7% -2.4%
of which digital 174 24.7% 17.8% 15.1%
Magazine brands 993 -4.3% -3.3% -0.7%
of which digital 267 5.9% 5.7% 6.8%
Cinema 202 9.4% 4.8% 2.2%
Internet 7,194 15.0% 13.0% 10.6%
of which mobile 1,623 58.9% 43.8% 34.2%
Direct mail 1,835 -1.1% -0.5% -0.4%
TOTAL UK ADSPEND 18,553 5.8% 5.6% 5.4%

This article was first published on


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