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.