By Claire West

Overall, global communications revenues grew by just 0.3 per cent over the previous year, but global advertising expenditure fell by 13 per cent to £254 billion in 2009. TV remained the largest single source of advertising spend (38 per cent of total, a decline of 9 per cent on the previous year) and internet advertising expenditure grew 1 per cent between 2008 and 2009 to £37 billion. The internet accounted for a larger proportion of advertising spend (27 per cent) in the UK than in any other comparator country.

According to the latest Ofcom research mobile advertising spend per capita in Japan outstrips its nearest rival, the UK, by a ratio of almost 5 to 1 — but the UK is growing rapidly in line with the increase in smartphone take-up. Advertisers in Japan spends £5.57 per capita, in the UK the figure is £1.14.

However, while TV and radio advertising has declined, TV and radio subscriptions have increased, despite the economic downturn. Pay TV subscriptions increased by 5.8 per cent, and satellite radio subscriptions grew by 5.1 per cent.

Telecoms revenues also declined in seven of the 17 comparator countries, up from three in 2008. Mobile revenues are not keeping pace with increases in take-up and use, with mobile connections increasing by 16.3 per cent and call volumes increasing by 14.7 per cent, but revenues increased by just 2.7 per cent. In broadband, the UK was unique as the only country where fixed broadband revenues fell in 2009, as a result of increased take-up of lower cost LLU-based broadband services as part of double and triple play bundles.