The Advertising Association promotes the role and rights of responsible advertising and its value to people, society, businesses and the economy. We represent UK advertisers, agencies and brands on behalf of the entire industry, acting as the connection between industry professionals and the politicians and policy-makers.

The Advertising Association focuses on major industry and policy areas that have huge ramifications on UK advertising. This section contains our work around Brexit, HFSS and gambling advertising, data and e-privacy, trust, the digital charter and our Industrial Strategy campaigns.

Credos is the advertising industry’s independent think tank. It produces research, evidence and reports into the impact and effectiveness of and public and political response to advertising on behalf of UK advertisers in order to enable the industry to make informed decisions.

Front Foot is our industry’s member network of over 50 businesses across UK advertising. It aims to promote the role of responsible advertising and its value to people, society and the economy through a coalition of senior leaders from advertisers, agencies and media owners.

We run a number of events throughout the year, from our annual LEAD summit to the Media Business Course and regular breakfast briefings for our members. We are also the official UK representative for the world’s biggest festival of creativity – Cannes Lions.


/ July 30th 2019 / Matthew Evans
Adspend Figures Online Advertising

UK adspend rose 4.2% year-on-year to reach £6.0bn in Q1 2019, marking the 23rd consecutive quarter of market growth and covering the three-month period leading up to the original scheduled Brexit date of March 29, 2019.

The figures highlight growth coming from areas including search, online display, TV VOD, online radio, out-of-home and cinema, and are contained in today’s Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report, which is unique in its collection of advertising spend data from across the entire media landscape.

The report forecasts growth to £24.6bn for 2019, equivalent to a 4.6% increase, with the UK’s ad market expected to grow a further 5.3% in 2020.

Online advertising expenditure performed notably across a number of formats, with online radio seeing standout year-on-year growth of 26.5% in the first quarter. TV VOD achieved an increase of 17.5% in the same period, while total online display saw an increase of 16.6%. Digital out of home also experienced a good Q1 with growth of 10.9%.

These figures reflect the recent Advertising Pays 7 report from UK advertising’s think tank, Credos, which demonstrated how Britain is the largest online advertising marketplace in Europe and that the UK has the highest per capita online spend in the G20, boosting businesses up and down the country.

Across traditional formats, cinema saw respectable growth of 12.3% in Q1 2019 versus Q1 2018. Growth is forecast for 2019 across the majority of formats, with the greatest increases predicted in online radio and TV VOD.

Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive at the Advertising Association commented:

“These figures are testament to the resilience of UK advertising during an uncertain period for business, leading up to the original Brexit date. We see online advertising in all its forms continuing to perform strongly, demonstrating again how the UK is Europe’s leading online advertising marketplace.

“We hope that the new administration can deliver a business-friendly outcome to our relationship with the EU, ensuring the UK’s domestic advertising market remains robust and our advertising exports, which are world-class, keep growing.”

Full-year forecast summary 2018-2020 Adspend 2018 (£m) 2018 v 2017         (% change) Forecast 2019    (% change) Forecast 2020      (% change)
Search 6,656 14.3% 9.5% 9.9%
Online display* 5,332 21.4% 12.8% 10.1%
TV 5,111 0.1% 0.9% 3.0%
of which VOD 391 29.4% 18.1% 16.9%
Direct mail 1,552 -8.7% -10.0% -8.2%
Online classified* 1,451 -1.3% 3.5% 4.7%
Out of home 1,209 5.7% 3.9% 2.9%
    of which digital 603 14.7% 10.3% 10.8%
National newsbrands 969 -7.1% -5.7% -3.0%
of which online 274 -2.6% 1.1% 6.7%
Regional newsbrands 804 -9.3% -8.2% -5.0%
of which online 228 7.6% 2.8% 5.8%
Magazine brands 718 -7.5% -7.5% -5.0%
of which online 270 -0.3% -0.3% 0.0%
Radio 714 5.1% 2.9% 4.7%
of which online 45 30.6% 22.0% 20.0%
Cinema 254 -2.1% 7.1% 5.6%
TOTAL UK ADSPEND 23,561 6.2% 4.6% 5.3%
* Broadcaster VoD, digital revenues for newsbrands, magazine brands, and radio station websites are also included within online display and classified totals, so care should be taken to avoid double counting.

Source: AA/WARC Expenditure Report, July 2019


At-a-glance media summary Q1 2019 v Q1 2018 Actual versus forecast
% change Percentage points (pp)
Search 10.6% -2.4pp
Online display* 16.6% +1.5pp
TV -2.5% -2.5pp
of which VOD 17.5% -8.3pp
Direct mail -12.3% -4.3pp
Online classified* 0.4% +11.1pp
Out of home 6.8% +1.8pp
    of which digital 10.9% -4.5pp
National newsbrands -9.1% -2.2pp
of which online -10.0% -15.2pp
Regional newsbrands -11.0% -4.6pp
of which online -0.2% -5.1pp
Magazine brands -10.8% -5.0pp
of which online 0.0% -1.6pp
Radio -1.7% -4.0pp
of which online 26.5% -6.8pp
Cinema 12.3% +6.7pp
TOTAL UK ADSPEND 4.2% -0.5pp
* Broadcaster VoD, digital revenues for newsbrands, magazine brands, and radio station websites are also included within online display and classified totals, so care should be taken to avoid double counting.

Source: AA/WARC Expenditure Report, July 2019

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