• UK advertising expenditure grew 3.7% to reach £21.4bn in 2016, the seventh consecutive year of market growth, according to the Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report(i)
  • Growth in UK adspend held steady in Q3 after the June referendum, before reaching £5.8bn in Q4 2016, a rise of 3.9% year-on-year and the highest grossing quarter on record. In real terms, after accounting for inflation, UK adspend topped its pre-recession peak for the first time during both the final quarter and for 2016 as a whole. Forecasts for the next two years indicate continued growth of 2.5% in 2017 and 3.3% in 2018. (ibid.)
  • Digital formats continued to drive growth in 2016, with internet adspend up by 13.4% to £10.3bn, with mobile accounting for 99% of that growth. Mobile spend reached £3.9bn, with 86% of the current value of the mobile advertising market generated in just the past five years. (ibid.)
  • Digital accounted for 38% of the £1.1bn out of home advertising market in 2016, double the share digital recorded in 2012, while revenues from online ads were up for national newsbrands (+4.9% to £230m) for the fifth year running.(ibid.)
  • Gross Value Added (GVA) in the UK advertising & marketing sector grew by 7.7 per cent to £10.7bn in 2015. Between 2010 and 2015, GVA increased bv 72 per cent - the fastest growth rate of all the creative industries. (ii)
  • There are 198,000 jobs in the UK advertising and marketing industries, having risen by 7.7 per cent in 2016, and increased by 33.3 per cent between 2011 and 2016.(iii)
  • In 2015, the latest available year, the UK exported £2.64bn of services from the advertising and marketing sector, representing 1.2 per cent of all UK exports. Between 2010 and 2015, service exports from advertising and marketing have risen by 42 per cent. (iv)
(i) AA/Warc Expenditure Report. April 2017.
 (ii) DCMS Sectors Economic Estimates, DCMS, November 2016. 
(iii) DCMS Sectors Economic Estimates, DCMS, July 2017.
(iv) DCMS Sectors Economic Estimates, DCMS, July 2017.


Jobs growth predicted for UK Advertising

The Advertising Association has predicted that 70,000 new advertising-related jobs could be created in the UK by 2019.

This would involve advertising-related jobs growing at 14.2%, compared to average predicted growth of 5.6% in the rest of the economy during this period.

Speaking at the Advertising Week Europe conference, Tim Lefroy, Chief Executive at the AA, said: “Across the digital economy, the creative industries and beyond, investment in advertising is creating high quality UK jobs for everyone from actors to analysts.”

The AA predicts that half of the new jobs will feature in production, creation and in house positions, with others found in media and all across the advertising supply chain. Other indicators, like an expected 5.6% growth in ad spend for 2016, show industry’s wider growth has no sign of slowing down.

Source: Advertising Association, January 2016. 




  • The UK will have the fourth largest advertising market in 2016 in terms of spend, according to a forecast by Warc, the marketing information service. It will account for 5.6 per cent of the total spent on advertising across the 12 major markets analysed by Warc.

  • This estimate was calculated at current prices in Purchasing Power Parities which measure the buying power of local currencies (e.g. US$, GB£ in international markets), enabling international comparisons which strip out the effect of currency exchange movements.

  • When the figures are collated in US dollars at current prices - i.e. without adjusting for inflation rates in different markets - the UK is forecast by Warc to account for 7.4 per cent of the total spent on advertising across the 12 markets. 

Source: Warc, November 2015.