UK adspend report fails to highlight importance of mobile

Methodology changes welcomed but more granularity needed

The recently released AA/Warc Expenditure report is good news in general for the UK advertising industry. The headline was that expenditure in the UK reached £17,172 billion in 2012. The last time advertising spend exceeded £17 billion was prior to the recession in 2007 (£17,364bn). The big news, however, was that there was a change in methodology that allows subscribers to view the impact of online adspend for newsbrands, magazine brands and TV. This acknowledges the growing importance of digital but it didn’t do much to highlight the importance of mobile in such campaigns.

The report is, however, regarded as the most reliable picture of the industry by advertisers, agencies and media owners.

Advertising Association (AA)  in conjunction with Warc claim the report is the only impartial source of quarterly adspend figures and forecasts, with both a total market and individual media breakdowns.

The methodology changes mean that newspapers become ‘newsbrands’; and magazines ‘magazine brands’ reflecting the move away from print-only publications to multi-platform properties.

Data is provided for print, digital and the two combined.

“We welcome this response to the dramatic changes in our media landscape – a step in the right direction,” Rufus Olins, CEO with Newsworks commented.

He continued, “We look forward to seeing further granularity as the Expenditure Report evolves to reflect the different streams of digital and online revenue.”

“The increase in granularity shows just how vital digital is to the wider market,” Tim Elkington, director of research and strategy with IAB UK, observed.

“Digital is making a really positive contribution to the advertising economy – whether you consider the internet advertising total or the contribution that it makes to individual media,” he added.

The figures for Internet which include online, mobile and tablet included a total of £ 5.4 billion in 2012. So roughly 30 per cent of the total UK adspend.

That represented an impressive growth of 13.2 per cent over 2011. Growth in 2013 is expected to hit 9.9 per cent in 2013 but slow to 9 per cent in 2014.

AA/Warc’s forecasts for the next eight quarters show adspend continuing to grow, reaching a 5 per cent growth rate in 2014, well ahead of inflation.

“Advertising does not just track GDP, it drives it,” argues Tim Lefroy, CEO with the Advertising Association.

All AA/Warc reports can be exported from the online interface. An annual subscription costs £710 for AA members and £1,100 for non-members.

About Hans Cett

Hans Cett is an established freelance author and consultant specialising in the mobile communications industry. He also writes for Countdown2MWC -
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