Group M upgrades UK adspend forecast despite Brexit gloom

Group M has upgraded its UK adspend forecast for next year, despite concern from businesses over the uncertainty of Britain's trading relationship with the European Union.

Group M upgrades UK adspend forecast despite Brexit gloom

UK adspend is forecast to grow for the eighth successive year in 2017, with predicted growth up from 5.8% to 7.2%, according to latest figures from the WPP media agency group.

Group M has also upgraded its growth forecast for this year – up from 6.3% to 7.2% for 2016.

However, the outlook for traditional media advertising has deteriorated slightly, from -1.1% to -2.6% for 2016 and from +0.5% to -1.4% in 2017.

The TV market, which grew 10.4% last year, is expected to be down 0.1% this year and up 1.0% in 2017.

Meanwhile, cinema advertising is expected to grow by 1% in 2016 after a bumper 2015 when spend grew by 21.5%. In 2017, cinema is expected to grow 3.4%.

The predicted ad market share for pure-play digital has risen by a percentage point to 52% this year and up three more point to 55% next year.

Digital display demand is set to rise particularly strongly next year, with a 15% predicted rise, with paid search accelerating and remaining the largest driver of growth.

Adam Smith, futures director at Group M, said: "The effect of the future EU exit on the UK economy is unknown, but the short-term impact was negligible. To our own surprise, we are revising UK advertising growth up from 6.3% to 7.2% for 2016, and from 5.8% to 7.2% for 2017. 

"The main driver that we have seen is paid search accelerating again. It benefits from rising automation and the immediacy needed for mobile and performance-minded advertising.

"We expect digital display advertising to continue growing by 18% in 2016 and 15% in 2017. The ambition of pure play digital vendors to conquer TV territory and categories will be hard-won, but today's undisputed winner is pure-play digital."

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