Adlanders don't expect quick return to growth - Campaign poll

Creative agencies have the most downbeat read on the coming months.

UK ad market: most Campaign readers expect low or no growth in next six months (Image: Jorg Greuel/Getty)
UK ad market: most Campaign readers expect low or no growth in next six months (Image: Jorg Greuel/Getty)

Adlanders are not getting excited too quickly about the UK ad market bouncing back in the first half of 2021, a Campaign website poll has found.

Of more than 500 logged-in users who responded to the poll, a quarter expect he market to stay flat, with no growth over the next six months – the most common answer from respondents.

Around one in eight (12%) are bracing for a further decline over the next six months, after the country went back into lockdown at the start of January.

One in five expect limited growth of about 5% in the first half.

That means a majority (57%) expect little or no growth, despite the comparisons with Q2 2020, when there were steep declines.

However, a significant minority of respondents were more upbeat; 43% are looking forward to an increase of at least 10%.

A fifth expect growth of about 10%.

One in ten (10%) expects growth of around 15%.

And a further 13% expect growth above 20%.

Levels of optimism vary between different sections of Campaign’s readership.

The most negative segment of respondents was those at creative agencies, 45% of whom expect no growth (a flat or declining market) in the next six months, while one in five predict growth of at least 15%.

Media agency staff, in contrast, are more upbeat: only 28% expect to see no growth, with just 4% anticipating further decline.

Instead, they overwhelmingly expect middling growth, with just over half (54%) choosing either 5% or 10%.

Media owners are the most likely to hold out hope for a swift bounceback, with almost a fifth (19%) expecting growth of 20% or more, while a third expect no growth.

Among brand marketers, 29% anticipate no growth over the next six months, while 27% foresee growth of at least 15%.

The Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report and the Dentsu Ad Spend Report, both published last week, predicted UK ad market growth in 2021 of 15.5% and 10.4% respectively – in both cases, enough to cancel out the decline of 2020.

Both reports show the UK outperforming other major European countries.

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