Dentsu Aegis Network predicts 6% growth in UK adspend

Brexit has fuelled short-termism among brands.

The UK is expected to see the highest growth in advertising expenditure across western Europe this year at 6.1%, as Brexit causes short-termism amongst clients, according to Dentsu Aegis Network’s latest forecast.

Published today, the report reveals that the 6.1% growth equates to £22.2bn and is 1.4 percentage points higher than the company’s last predictions posted in June 2018, when it expected 4.7% growth this year. Dentsu Aegis Network also expects a 7.1% rise in adspend in 2020.

The report refers to the UK as a "resilient" market with a "relatively buoyant outlook", adding: "Concerns around the impact of Brexit and the general data protection regulation have yet to manifest in falling advertiser confidence."

Growth is down to a 10.9% rise in digital adspend and the UK having the highest share of digital spend globally at 64%. TV adspend is set to slow to -0.4%, with a return to growth in 2020 to 2%.

Jo Sutherland, Carat's UK chief executive, told Campaign: "We have a raft of clients that will be affected by Brexit, but it’s swayed the conversations to digital and a short-term outlook. The downside is that the conversations about brand-building are happening less."

She added that there is a "swing to more accountable media", allowing agencies and clients to monitor return on investment and adjust the messaging in ads quickly. Sutherland explained that its data-driven agency arm, Merkle, has been key in helping with this.

In 2018, UK adspend grew 6.5%, an upward revision from 4.2%. Dentsu Aegis Network attributed this to "a stronger-than-expected start" over the first half of the year around the football World Cup.

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