UK ad spend grew to its largest first-half total in H1 2017, led by mobile

Tyrone Stewart

British moneyUK ad expenditure grew to £10.8bn during the first half of 2017 – an increase of 3.7 per cent – to represent the largest total for the first six months of any year since monitoring began in 1982.

Overall market growth is being driven by increased spend on digital advertising, according to the latest Advertising Association/WARC expenditure report. Digital ad spend accounted for 54 per cent, or £5.8bn, of all spend in the first half of 2016.

As a result of the growth in ad expenditure, the forecasted growth for the whole of 2017 has been upgraded to 3.1 per cent, which will mean an annual spend of more than £22bn.

“Spend on advertising is showing strong resilience, at a time of real uncertainty for UK business,” said Stephen Woodford, chief executive at the Advertising Association. “We know advertising has a positive effect on the economy, with every pound spent generating six pounds of GDP, so it is good to see steady, sustained growth. The upgrade of our 2017 forecast by a further one percent, the equivalent of an additional investment of £190M, should be seen as a cautious indicator for continued growth in the UK economy.”

First half growth was boosted by a four per cent year-on-year rise during Q2 2017, the 16th consecutive quarter of market growth and the strongest rate of growth since Q4 2017.

Mobile saw substantial growth of 36.1 per cent, and was the main contributor to a 13 per cent rise in internet ad spend during the second quarter of 2017.

“The latest data highlight the importance of mobile to advertisers in the UK – spend on mobile ads accounted for the entirety of internet growth during the second quarter of 2017 and 97 per cent over the first six months of the year,” said James McDonald, senior data analyst at WARC. “As mobile usage and credit-fuelled consumer spending continue to rise, investment in mobile advertising will track ahead of other platforms this year.”

Other digital formats enjoying growth include digital ad formats for radio at 38.9 per cent, DOOH at 30.4 per cent, TV broadcaster video-on-demand at 10.6 per cent, regional newsbrands at 10.4 per cent, and national newsbrands at 7.9 per cent.

Cinema, up 14.4 per cent, and direct mail, at 0.8 per cent, also recorded growth during the second quarter of 2017.

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