The figures are in from Dentsu Aegis and they show — well to be honest, they show a mixed picture.
The good news is that the UK’s ad spend is expected to rise 6% this year, and the slightly worse news is that this represents a 0.6% downward revision from the holding company’s previous forecast.
But hold that thought. As we will see, that’s actually pretty amazing news.
The background is that Dentsu believes there is still a lot of uncertainty around Brexit and, as we’ve been discussing in this MAD London column, that has been reflected on the high street.
Nevertheless, as previously mentioned, it’s a nuanced, mixed picture.
The UK is expected to see 6% growth, albeit down a little.
Look to Western Europe and you see altogether less favourable news. Germany is actually forecast to see a decline of 1.2%, Italy is forecast to see a 0.6% downturn and it’s bad news for Spain with a reduction of 1.6% predicted.
The researchers reveal that it is not just the UK that faces problems. All three of the aforementioned countries are facing political deadlock and trading tensions.
It’s worth remembering that Germany is teetering on the edge of a recession and Italy is seeing a retraction in ad spend as a law to ban gambling advertising begins to bite this year.
So in Western Europe, it’s only French growth (4.5%) and the UK’s leading growth that are most behind the drive to keep the overall market in positive territory.
Globally, we’re seeing the same old picture emerging in terms of channels.
Newspapers and magazines will see a 10% and 11% reduction in advertising income, while digital remains top dog with a 9.5% boom during 2020.
Other channels to watch out for are, predictably, addressable television and voice — although the researchers are taking a long-term view here and not predicting meteoric overnight increases.
Which is just as well because after many years of everyone talking up mobile marketing, 2020 will be the first year when Dentsu Aegis believes spend on mobile will overtake television.
So, that’s a rundown on the top-level figures. The takeaway has to be that although some people will say the UK has been revised down over Brexit fears, just take a look at what else is happening in Western Europe.
if you look beyond that downward revision, it’s clear there is still more confidence in the UK market seeing growth than its neighbours, three of whom are expected to see negative growth this year.
It will not all be easy going — particularly for newspapers and magazines — but 2020 is shaping up to be a year of ad-spend growth, despite Brexit uncertainty.