Last year, UK advertising spending reached its highest rate in five years, according to AA/Warc, a trusted source of UK ad spend data. This indicates that businesses are still confident about advertising’s ability to reach consumers. It also suggests that cautiousness over ad spend, caused by the recession, may finally be waning.
What’s more, the data projects that the ad market will continue to grow in 2016, with 5.5% growth forecast, according to AA/Warc (whose database covers all major media, providing quarterly advertising expenditure data).
Which advertising medium saw the biggest rise? Cinema advertising, which reached a phenomenal £283 million in spend (perhaps in part to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens). This was followed by internet ad spending, which rose to £8.6 billion. But the biggest percentage growth surge was in mobile advertising, which increased by 61% to £2.6 billion.
As might be expected (due to the changing way that audiences are consuming news), print advertising spend for UK newspapers fell by a shocking £1 billion. However, this was balanced out by the fact that spending on digital newspaper ads increased by 2.5% to £220 million, meaning that now, more than ever, UK newspapers will have to focus their energies on their online news presence rather than on their traditional publications.
Interestingly, the Royal Mail reported that direct mail ad spending grew to £1.9 billion in 2015, a rise of 1.4%. It’s not clear why, as direct mail is not necessarily seen as the ‘hottest’ form of advertising. Perhaps this is due to fears over the growing ‘invisibility’ of online advertising forms, such as banner ads, or maybe it’s because direct mail advertising is an effective way to reach an older, more traditional, less tech-savvy (and probably more affluent) audience of retired ’empty nesters’. Whatever the reason, it’s going to be an interesting trend to keep an eye on.
Hopefully, by the end of 2016, we’ll have further insight into where UK advertising is going to focus its energies in coming years and whether digital will continue its growth to dominance.