UK Witnesses Shift to Online Advertising Formats: Report

Online formats now account for over three-quarters of all UK ad spend for the first time, says the latest Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report. It highlighted that the UK’s ad market recorded a 6.1% increase in investment to a total of £36.6 billion in 2023.

The report stated that advertising spending will rise by 5.8% to reach £38.8 billion this year, and further growth of 4.5% is expected in 2025. This means that the UK ad market will be worth more than £40 billion. The report said the UK’s advertising industry outpaced Germany, France, and Ireland. Online formats increased by 11%, reaching a total of £28.7 billion in 2023. Out-of-home (OOH) also recorded growth.

Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, the Advertising Association, said the continued shift to online advertising formats reflects the changing shape of the UK’s economy. People are shopping online, as well as on the high street, and businesses are striving to provide the best customer experience. “The UK advertising industry is much respected around the world, which is why we continue to see the exports of UK advertising services grow, an important source of additional revenue for many advertising businesses in a domestic economy that has little-to-no growth.”

UK Witnesses Shift to Online Advertising Formats: Report

James McDonald, Director of Data, Intelligence & Forecasting, WARC, said the latest survey of media owners confirms 2023 as a challenging year for most. Few properties recorded gains and spending further consolidated within search and online display formats (particularly social media). “Combined, these digital staples are on course to account for almost four in five pounds spent on advertising in the UK next year, up from a share of 51% just five years ago.”

McDonald added that the UK’s economy will begin to break from the pattern of stagnation that has come to define recent quarters. “Easing inflation over the coming 18 months should encourage more favorable trading conditions within the advertising sector, facilitating growth across a broader range of channels in turn.”

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Nandika Chand