Industry reacts: AA/WARC Adspend

Digital channels such as search, online display, video on demand are now driving overall UK advertising growth, according to a recent report from the Advertising Association and WARC. Here,  industry experts provide their views on the news.

Jo Lyall, MD, Mindshare UK

“As the UK advertising industry is forecast to complete more than a decade of continuous expansion, the industry is demonstrating strong resilience despite our uncertain political and economic climate. The report revealed that digital media dominates once again, accounting for over half of UK adspend, and interestingly, social media and online video were highlighted as two key components to digital growth.

“This presents greater opportunities for advertisers, particularly as technology continues to evolve with faster broadband connections and 5G now joining the fray, it will become even easier to livestream video across any device. Our Trends report, based on research with over 6,000 UK consumers, demonstrated that video streaming is predicted to be worth $70bn by 2021. As livestreaming is also now a main proposition on social platforms, it’s clear that digital media continues to innovate, offering brands more opportunities to engage with audiences as a result.”

Stuart Taylor, CEO Western Europe, Kinetic

“As the UK advertising industry continues to grow, Out-of-Home (OOH) remains an essential part of that upward trajectory, demonstrating the value for marketers in investing in traditional brand-building activations. The report further notes that Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) is predicted to grow a further 13%  by 2020, showing there is space for the medium to grow and advance its digital capabilities.

“Indeed, with increasing innovation, brands will be able to access digital inventory more easily, enabling advertisers to harness the power of context and location to deliver mass reach, amplified share of voice and brand fame.”

Tom Byrne, SVP agency services, Merkle EMEA

“This latest report shows consistent year-on-year growth for the UK advertising industry with adspend forecast to increase by 4.8% further this year. Once again, digital media is a main driver of growth in almost every channel, and with it being almost entirely data-driven, it’s clear that advertisers are focusing on being able to tailor their messaging to users based on their digital footprint. It’s therefore important that marketers continue to leverage data-driven insights from consumer behaviour to drive through cross-channel campaigns and a connected media strategy.”

“Indeed, as search makes up the largest proportion of adspend in the UK, it’s unsurprising to see a market shift towards delivering a people-based marketing approach, serving relevant, valuable content to consumers at a time that is best for them.”

Hugo Drayton, CEO of Inskin Media:

“The latest AA/WARC adspend report throws up some interesting trends: against a backdrop of political and economic uncertainty in the UK, the reported spend in 2018 – and perhaps even more surprisingly the forecast for 2019, showing almost 5% growth year-on-year – may sound overly optimistic, especially to brand advertising practitioners. The background of a strong, growing UK advertising market is certainly uplifting news, but it masks a less healthy dependency on direct and performance marketing, and a disproportionate level of activity on social media platforms, given the high level of real concern around both brand safety and effectiveness.

“Beyond the macro-economic concerns, certain important advertising industries – e.g. automotive – are experiencing significant, systemic changes, driven by environment, technology and social impacts. Nonetheless, the relatively buoyant perspective, with no short-term impact expected as a result of a chaotic Brexit, will be welcomed by the industry.”