However, the news from adland might be slightly more optimistic. The latest Dentsu Aegis forecast for 2018 suggests the ongoing Brexit debate, and even the situation once the UK is scheduled to have exited the EU, will have little impact on advertising spending.
It has upgraded its spending forecast from a 3.8% rise to 4.2% during 2018. It's not just a digital bonanza -- Dentsu is reporting that tv, radio and print are all up on the forecasts it made at the start of the year, and hence the figure. The network has a lot of optimism for this year, citing the World Cup as the huge event that comes around every four years that is usually always guaranteed to see ad spending increasing.
As ever, when we're talking beyond the World Cup and looking at next year, digital is the star that will get us through 2019, whatever the year might throw at us in our changing relationship with the EU once the country leaves the community on March 29th, 2019. The research shows that this year's forecast of 4.2% growth will be beaten next year by a 4.7% uptick.
Dentsu doesn't shy away from the obvious statement that this is mostly due to digital, because it is. Next year, very nearly two in three ad pounds -- at 62% -- will go to digital.
There is also a slightly optimistic note for next year for print and magazines. To be honest, it's not great news because it's about a decline in ad revenue. However, at least Dentsu Aegis is reporting a slowing down in print's demise. Newspapers will be down 7% next year and magazines 8%, while all other channels show steady growth.
In other words, it's pretty much business as usual, with a boost to digital and print showing a slower decline than last year and this year.
The interesting takeaway for me is that the UK will be hitting the global average of 3.9% growth this year. OK -- it's 0.1% down on global average growth this year, but that's pretty much saying it's at the same level. However, next year, when the UK separates from the EU, Dentsu Aegis is saying global growth will be 3.8%, and so the UK's ad-spend growth of 4.2% is noticeably higher.
These are, of course, forecasts, and the very fact that Dentsu Aegis is now changing its figures from January shows that all numbers are due for revision and are not cast in stone. The real picture emerges when a year is looked back on and the more accurate results become clear.
However, if anyone is looking for a ray of sunlight amid all the doom and gloom surrounding Brexit and endless warnings of economic Armageddon, these figures might just be the tonic.
In the year the UK leaves the EU, the country's ad-spend growth will exceed the global average increase. If there is a cliff that is being fallen off, it seems someone has yet to tell advertisers.