UK ad spending rose by 5.2 per cent during H1 2016, reaching a record £9.9bn during the first six months of the year, despite the economic uncertainty brought about by the EU referendum.
The figures, produced by the Advertising Association and Warc, show that the growth rate was 0.4 percentage points ahead of forecasts, with internet ad spending particularly strong, accounting for almost half of all ad spending.
Digital spending grew 16.9 per cent to reach £4.7bn, with mobile growing by over 52 per cent to £1.7bn. H1 2016 also marked the first time mobile accounted for over half of all online display ad spending in the UK.
Digital formats continued to thrive across all media, with online video ad spend up 66.4 per cent to £252m, while native grew by 29.9 per cent to £451m. Digital out-of-home was up 28.9 per cent to £176m.
The strong H1 results saw full year growth forecasts revised, up 1.0 percentage point to 5.2 per cent. However, the forecast for 2017 has been downgraded to 3.3 per cent, as the impact of Brexit begins to be felt across a variety of industries.
"Investment in UK advertising remains strong this year, and the trend towards digital and mobile continues, but the medium term is more complex," said Tim Lefroy, CEO of the Advertising Association. "The Government should avoid any regulatory uncertainty that might affect advertising's stimulus to the economy."
"With ad spend reaching a record £9.9bn in the first half of 2016, it is now more important than ever for marketers to create ads with value for their target audience," said Nigel Wilson, managing director of Hitwise. "The fact is, consumers don't dislike all ads. They tend to ignore the ones that are irrelevant and obstructive to their digital experience, and far too many ads today meet one or both of those criteria.
"Today's wealth of data and insights means this isn't acceptable anymore; marketers should be serving ads that are contextually relevant, useful and engaging to the consumer."