UK ad spend to rise 5.2% in 2020 bolstered by strong performance of digital and mobile

Anne Freier | January 31, 2020

Mobile Advertising

Advertising spend in the UK rose 5.6% year-on-year to £5.97 billion during Q3 2019 unaffected by political turmoil.

The latest figures by the Advertising Association and WARC project ad spend to increase another 5.2% to £24.8 billion in 2020, as Brexit certainty has been established.

Several factors were responsible for the rapid market growth including digital out-of-home which rose 17.1%, search (up 11.9%) and online display (up 12.8%). Video-on-demand was also up 16.7%.

It appears that smaller and medium-sized businesses are investing more in digital formats.

Both online display and search are predicted to grow in the 10% region in 2020.

But James McDonald, data editor at WARC, remains cautious about the outlook.

“The UK’s ad market has sustained a 25-quarter period of expansion, but underlying data show that this growth is asymmetric,” he said. “Excluding online advertising, the UK’s ad market has contracted each quarter for the last four years.”

Much of the growth predicted for 2020 will be driven by digital and mobile formats.

“Online formats account for three in five pounds spent on advertising in the UK, and we expect this to rise to two in three by mid-2021, fuelling total market growth in tow,” said McDonald.