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.

10 Jun

All In Summit



Ad Pays Reports Ad Pays Series Online Advertising

The Advertising Association has today launched a brand new report, Advertising Pays 7: UK Advertising’s Digital Revolution, at IAB Engage in central London, where Karen Fraser MBE (Director, Credos) and Claire Enders (Founder, Enders Analysis) presented the findings of the latest in the Ad Pays series to delegates.

The session also saw the premiere of a new animation produced especially to accompany the report, which you can read more about here.

Ad Pays 7 reveals the extent of growth and scale of the UK online advertising market on the world stage over the last 25 years. The figures for online advertising include investment in ads on internet-connected devices. This is where communication takes place between the advertiser and the individual consumer’s device in order to show adverts. This can also be called internet advertising.

The report has been produced by Credos, UK advertising’s thinktank, in partnership with Enders Analysis. The findings show the UK is the largest online advertising market in Europe, and the third largest in the world, behind only the United States and China in online advertising spend in 2018. It places the UK well ahead of Japan and Germany, both economic powerhouses with larger populations.

The findings show UK online advertising expenditure, relative to the size of the economy, is now the highest in the world, at 0.63% of GDP. Online advertising contributed 57% of the UK’s total advertising spend of £23.6 billion in 2018 and is predicted to account for 62% by 2020. Twenty years ago, online expenditure did not even register in published statistics.

The report goes on to show how the UK’s strong online economy has powered the growth of online advertising. At £1,868 per person, the UK retail e-commerce expenditure per capita is higher than in any other G20 market. Both online advertising expenditure and internet retail expenditure in the UK have almost trebled since 2010.

As a result, a large and diverse ad tech sector has developed in the UK, employing tens of thousands and comprising more than 300 UK-headquartered companies, attracting more than £1 billion in investment since 2013. Together, these UK ad tech companies employ over 19,000 UK workers, almost four times as many as the largest advertising tech platforms in the UK, such as Google and Facebook, combined.

At the same time, the report demonstrates how online advertising boosts UK small and medium-sized businesses (SME) and more SMEs now advertise than ever – rising from 30% of SMEs in 2013 to 42% in 2017 – as the opportunity to target consumers more effectively on a small budget has never been better.

Karen Fraser said: “As we passed the point where online advertising accounted for more than 50% of total advertising expenditure, we decided it was time to review the impact of digitalisation on our industry. This report, which shows how UK advertising is at the forefront of technological developments worldwide, is the result. It is particularly interesting to see how closely linked our industry has become with the rate of growth of online retail and we expect to see this continue in the coming years. The ability to personalise advertising messages to consumers will become increasingly sophisticated – it is in our industry’s hands as to how we use this technology respectfully and in ways that the public value.’’

AA Chief Executive Stephen Woodford said:The UK is a global online advertising powerhouse with the capabilities to drive economic growth and drive societal change. Looking ahead, the challenge for our industry working with the Government is to find the right balance of statutory and industry regulation to encourage growth, ensure fair and healthy competition, minimise societal harm and accelerate positive societal change. With the right conditions, UK advertising can play a fundamental role in the UK’s future growth, not just within our borders but in how we do business with people worldwide.’’

Sneak Peak View More

At £1,868 per person, the UK retail e-commerce expenditure per capita is higher than in any other G20 market.

The UK is the largest online advertising market in the Europe, and the third largest in the world, behind only the United States and China.

Related Resources View More