Despite Brexit, Adland Is Flourishing In The UK

Business as usual? Is that the best way to describe what adland is seeing right now, as reflected in Dentsu Aegis' latest forecasts for this year and next?

Now, I know there is nothing very "usual" about today's shift to digital and the reorientation of the relationship between agencies and clients. But for all the talk of Armageddon surrounding Brexit uncertainty, we have another set of figures where things don't actually look too bad for the advertising industry in the UK -- particularly in digital.

To cut to the chase, Dentsu is revising UK ad growth up ever so slightly from 6.1% this year to 6.3%. And yes, the phrase that this is despite "uncertainty" surrounding Brexit does appear. It's not that the political turmoil the country has been wading through for two years is being ignored -- it's just that Dentsu would appear to be suggesting that, just as for last year, when spend was up 8.5%, the concern over the UK's relationship with the EU has yet to feed into spending cutbacks.

To put that into perspective, the UK's growth this year and next year will be double that of France and the USA. It's also many times more than that of Germany, Italy and Spain, which are all flatlining. 

And to top of the "it's business as usual" angle, we have a slight revision down for television's share of the global global advertising market and we also have outdoor, cinema and radio all pretty much flatlining while newspaper and magazines continue to take a dip in growth. This, of course, leaves room for digital to grow from 39% to 44% of total global advertising spend.

And just in case we were forgetting ourselves and getting too caught up in the excitement of digital's unending rise, the figures remind us that search will continue to be the dominant digital channel. It's important to note also that online video is showing the biggest percentage gains.

So the thought for the day must surely be that if things are so terrible in the UK right now, why is it Germany, Italy and Spain that are struggling to register any ad-spending growth at all? Why is the UK growing at twice the rate of France and the USA, percentage-wise?

Consumer surveys keep on showing confidence is leaning down slightly, and yet ad spend just keeps on growing.

It's a mismatch between what the business papers are suggesting and what researchers at the coal face in the ad industry are actually finding. 

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