Group M cites Brexit as possible threat to ad market growth

Media buyer says market in 2019 will slow compared with 2018's strong growth.

Group M: report published every six months
Group M: report published every six months

Growth in the UK ad market will slow down this year compared with 2018's growth rate of 7.8%, Britain's biggest media buyer has forecast.

Group M has predicted 2019 growth of 6.1%, driven by "decent if decelerating underlying economic growth". It said this deceleration should continue into 2020, resulting in growth next year dropping to 4.6%, as "advertising gradually reverts to more normalised levels of growth". 

WPP’s media buying arm – the home of MediaCom, Mindshare, Wavemaker, Essence and M/SIX –cautioned that planning for contingencies in relation to Brexit is affecting ad budget-setting and could potentially lead to a reduction in budgets.

Spending on digital is expected to grow ahead of the market, by 11% in 2019 and 8% in 2020, while TV is expected to remain unchanged for both 2019 and 2020. Print is set to decline in the near term, with spending forecast to fall by mid-single-digit levels in 2019 and 2020.

Group M said that more TV spending is likely to come from advertisers newly able to take advantage of the medium through products such as Sky’s AdSmart, although that is not enough to lead to overall growth.

The findings are from Group M's twice-yearly report, This Year Next Year.

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