The Agency View: Adspend Hits Record Figures Despite Brexit Fears

Adspend hits £10bn

The UK advertising market enjoyed significant growth in the first six months of 2016, rising by 5.2% to hit the £10bn mark for the first time.

The encouraging statistics, published in the latest Advertising Association/Warc expenditure report, may come as a surprise to some. This year’s EU Referendum and Brexit result plunged many UK businesses into uncertainty, and it was advertising that was expected to perhaps take a hit due to these concerns.

However, although the impact of Brexit will begin to unfold in 2017, next year’s forecast has been downgraded by just half a point and still suggests growth for the industry as a whole.

While UK adspend is up in general, the majority of the growth comes from a surge in spend for online and out of home advertising, which have risen by 16.9% and 9.6% year-on-year respectively.

The Agency View

For Media Agency Group, this growth comes as little surprise in a year that has seen more and more brands begin to recognise the results that data-driven advertising campaigns can deliver. As an agency working with international clients from across Europe and beyond, we’ve experienced first-hand that confidence in UK advertising is still there, particularly in more accountable formats such as online and digital out of home.

blue planet digital outdoor advertising

We’ve found that more and more brands are turning to digital out of home due to its ability to be more targeted and more accountable – as an agency, we’re delighted to report that we’ve seen a 14% rise in the number of out of home campaigns we’ve ran in 2016 (considerably higher than the industry’s average growth of 9.6%), with our digital out of home figures up by almost 60%. As markets become more competitive across all sectors, brands are requiring more dynamic, data-driven campaigns which traditional outdoor cannot always offer.

Our specialist outdoor division, Out of Home International, understand the strengths of digital out of home and how it can be used to enhance the power and effectiveness of campaigns, resulting in DOOH growth at our agency that is above the market trend.

korea digital outdoor

“Over the past six months we’ve seen many of our clients, both domestic and international, enjoy strong-performing, well-planned and accountable media campaigns that have calmed any fears over the impact of Brexit on advertising,” said Managing Director of Media Agency Group, John Kehoe.

“The continued growth of online and mobile has helped to give the industry a huge boost thanks to investment in new digital solutions. Crucially for us, out of home is also being redefined as a format through exciting new technologies and innovation, and is consistently a platform that brands are turning to when seeking campaigns that deliver real results.

costa rica digital outdoor advert

“We want to make sure brands are using out of home to its full potential and capitalising on the incredible innovation happening in the industry. Digital outdoor shouldn’t just be seen as as an extension to traditional out of home where you simply book a site for two weeks – we’re giving our clients the opportunity to reach specific audiences at certain times of the day, capture data, react to the latest trends and news and even respond to the weather with their campaigns.”

It’s encouraging to see the UK market showing strong levels of resilience against any potential post-Brexit slump. With continued growth in the aforementioned out of home market, mobile rising by almost 53% year on year and more growth predicted, the immediate future looks bright for the industry.


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