U.K. advertising spending in Q2 down 1.1% year-over-year, driven primarily by 2.2% decrease in television, 7.7% fall in press, report finds

LONDON , September 27, 2011 (press release) – UK advertising spend recorded a small year-on-year decline in Q2 2011, the first time the market has contracted since Q4 2009, according to AA/Warc figures.

The -1.1% fall in spend (Q2 2011 versus Q2 2010) was driven by weaker revenues in television (-2.2%) and press (-7.7%), although growth was stronger in radio (7.3%) and online (6.4%). UK adspend is now predicted to grow by just 0.9% in 2011, a downgrading from the previous forecast of 1.4%.

The AA/Warc Expenditure Report provides the most comprehensive measure of UK advertising activity. It includes a comprehensive view of actual spend by individual media encompassing print, TV, digital, cinema and out-of-home, as well as forecast data for the coming 24 months.

Forecasts for 2011 include a downward revision across all media except radio and direct mail advertising, although revenues are expected to pick up slightly in the second half with a 1.3% increase forecast in Q3 and 1.7% in Q4. The revised forecast reflects the current downturn in both consumer confidence and disposable income but expectations for 2012 are brighter with 4.6% growth predicted, spurred by the London Olympics.

Tim Lefroy, Chief Executive at the Advertising Association, said: “Advertising is particularly prone to the bigger economic picture and while times remain tough, there are some grounds for optimism as we move towards 2012.”

Suzy Young, Data Editor at Warc, added: "While adspend did contract year-on-year in the latest quarter, it's worth remembering that Q2 2010 yielded a particularly strong result (+11.9%), making comparisons particularly unfavourable."

About the Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report

The Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report is a comprehensive, quarterly review of advertising spend on all major UK media. All data is net of discounts and includes agency commission, but excludes production costs. The survey was launched in 1982, and has produced data on a quarterly basis since.

The Expenditure Report (www.warc.com/expenditurereport) launched in February 2010 and is available exclusively online only; subscribers will be able to access over 150 standard tables, build their own tables for different media and time periods, download bespoke analysis and track different media sectors’ share of adspend via a new tool. An annual subscription to the AA/Warc Expenditure Report costs £1,025. Members and affiliates of the Advertising Association pay a discounted price of £660.


The press data is derived from information provided directly by publishers of national newspapers, regional newspapers and business and consumer magazines. Television data is based on figures provided by various industry sources including Ofcom. Radio, Outdoor and Cinema data comes from the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), Outdoor Advertising Association (OAA) and the Nielsen Company respectively. The Royal Mail provides direct mail expenditure. Internet data is based on the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) survey carried out biannually by PricewaterhouseCoopers, and a survey of online recruitment specialists carried out by Warc. Sponsorship and promotions expenditure data has been excluded from the totals for both TV and radio for consistency purposes, as quarterly figures are not yet available for TV.

About the Advertising Association

The Advertising Association is the only body representing all sides of the advertising and promotional marketing industries. Its membership represents advertisers, agencies, media and support services in the UK. The advertising industry employs nearly 250,000 people, and has a Gross Valued Added (GVA) of £6.2bn to the UK economy each year. In 2010, advertising expenditure totalled £15.7bn. Further information about the organisation is available at: http://www.adassoc.org.uk/

About Warc

At the heart of Warc is Warc.com, a unique resource relied upon by major creative and media agency networks, market research companies, media owners, multinational advertisers and business schools to help tackle any marketing challenge. It provides online access to thousands of case studies, Best Practice guides that explain the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ of marketing challenges and brand profiles. Warc also provides adspend data, runs events and publishes leading journals including Admap, Market Leader and the Journal of Advertising Research.

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