The UK marketing industry’s attempts to calm the waters in the aftermath of the Brexit vote appear to have paid dividends, with advertisers refusing to slash and burn their budgets, according to two new forecasts which show only a marginal downgrade in spend for the year.
The first study, published by Zenith, forecasts 5.4% growth in adspend this year, fractionally less than its 5.6% forecast just before the vote. However, this is down from 9.2% in 2015, which was the strongest year for the UK ad market for 11 years.
Zenith head of forecasting Jonathan Barnard said: “So far the impact of the vote for Brexit has been limited, and confined to the UK. The global ad market has strengthened over the past few months, thanks mainly to the resilient US consumer. We expect the global ad market to strengthen further in 2017 and 2018.”
Meanwhile, a separate Advertising Association/Warc report is slightly less optimistic, predicting adspend will grow by 4.2% in 2016. Overall forecasts have been revised down slightly since April (-1.3% for 2016 and -1.7% for 2017), driven by downgrades for newsbrands and direct mail, the UK’s third and fourth largest media channels.
AA chief executive Tim Lefroy said: “These numbers suggest that, despite uncertainty, our sector is resilient. Government can underpin that by taking every step possible to build advertiser confidence, promote the UK as a global advertising hub and ensure we remain open to the world’s best advertising talent.”
The DMA was one of the first industry bodies to counter Brexit fears. Following the vote, group chief executive Chris Combemale said: “One thing is certain: the UK’s creative, data and digital industries will remain strong. The UK is a world leader in digital innovation and data driven marketing, creating jobs and driving growth.”
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