AA/Warc: 2024 adspend growth upgraded after strong Q3 performance

AA/Warc: 2024 adspend growth upgraded after strong Q3 performance
Cinema adspend was up 21.2% in Q3, during which Barbie was released (Credit: Warner Bros)

Adspend in the UK is expected to grow 5.9% in 2024 — up from a forecast of 3.9% in October, according to the latest Expenditure Report from the Advertising Association and Warc.

Meanwhile, Q3 adspend grew 15.9%, up from just 1% in Q2.

As a result, the study has also upgraded its adspend outlook for 2023, revising full-year growth to 6.4% — up 3.8 percentage points from the previous report in October. Final 2023 figures will be released in April.

The latest findings echo last week’s IPA Bellwether Report, which found rising confidence among marketers.

Editor’s column: Advertising and media are no longer ‘bellwether’ sectors

Looking at individual categories in Q3, online display (including social media) and search performed more strongly than expected. Year-on-year, online display rose 24.8%, while search grew by 23.7% — both represented their highest gain in 18 months.

Other areas that exhibited double-digit growth were: cinema (21.2%), OOH (12.9%) and the broadcaster VOD segment of TV (28.4%).

TV as a whole fell 3% — a considerable improvement from Q2’s 12.8% plunge. However, full-year estimates put TV at a 7.3% decline in 2023, down from a fall of 5.8% in the October update.

Source: AA/Warc


For 2024, the latest Expenditure Report has upwardly revised growth forecasts for most advertising categories from October. The biggest revision was in search, now expected to be up 8.7%, compared with 5.2% in October.

TV was now forecast to grow 1.4% in 2024, from 0.4% previously.

Other upwardly revised categories were: online display (up 7.4%, from 6.6% in October), cinema (4.6% versus 3.5%), radio (2.1% versus 1.5%), magazine (-1.1% versus -1.3%), national news brands (-1.6% versus -2.6%) and online classified (-3.5% versus -3.6%).

Stephen Woodford, CEO of the AA, said: “The Q3 increase in 2023 and 2024 forecast upgrade demonstrate advertisers’ continued commitment to investing in their brands, despite the lack of overall growth and stubborn inflationary pressures in the UK economy.

“All this should provide confidence that the industry is well-positioned to help the UK’s economy tackle the economic and social challenges it faces, by promoting product and service innovation, stimulating competition and supporting jobs.”

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