By Daniel Hunter

Advertising expenditure in the UK reached £17,172 billion in 2012, up 2.3% on 2011 according to figures released in the AA/Warc Expenditure Report. The last time advertising spend exceeded £17 billion was prior to the recession in 2007 (£17.364 billion).

AA/Warc’s forecasts for the next eight quarters show adspend continuing to grow, reaching a 5% growth rate in 2014, well ahead of inflation. Growth of 2.7% is expected in 2013.

The AA/Warc Advertising Expenditure Report is the definitive measure of advertising activity in the UK. As the only impartial source of quarterly adspend figures and forecasts, with both a total market and individual media breakdowns, it is considered the most reliable picture of the industry by advertisers, agencies and media owners.

Report Highlights

· Out of home advertising enjoyed a strong performance in 2012 as a direct result of an Olympic boost in Q3, but AA/Warc forecasts a decrease in 2013
· National newsbrands saw a decline of -6% in 2012, with zero growth predicted for 2013 but +2.7% growth in 2014, driven partly by a strengthening economy plus a strong increase in digital adspend at +20.3%
· It is the same scenario for magazine brands in 2014, where digital revenues will power overall growth of +1.1%.

New to this release is an important change in methodology that allows subscribers to view the impact of online adspend for newsbrands, magazine brands and TV (see table). 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. For TV, users can now see adspend for video on demand. Internet adspend can be viewed as both an overall total (incorporating spend from TV, newsbrands and magazine brands), or as an internet 'pure play' (internet-only businesses) data series.

This approach is a truer representation of today’s media landscape and provides a view of adspend that is relevant to agencies, advertisers and media owners now and into the future.

“The PPA welcomes this move by the Advertising Association and Warc, which provides a much more complete picture of advertising revenues across magazine brands’ print and digital channels," Barry McIlheney, CEO, the PPA, said.

"Our sector has a rich heritage in print but today’s magazine brands are expanding their reach across a growing number of platforms and influencing more consumers than ever before.”

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