UK Advertising Spend Falls, While Global Ad Revenues Increase By 4%

The global advertising market saw healthy growth during the third quarter of 2012, but the UK was left lagging behind; British advertisers spending totalled -4.2% for the first three quarters of 2012.

The figures from Nielsen's quarterly Global AdView Pulse report also showed the trend is set to continue for 2013, with ad spend down -1% for the year to date.

Western Europe reported a 2.7% decrease in year-over-year ad spending during the first half of 2012, and saw deeper cuts still in the third quarter, falling to -4.8%, as advertisers watched their budgets carefully due to ongoing economic instability. The year-to-date decrease in Europe was 3.4%.

However, outside of the region, advertisers are starting to spend again. Globally, spending was up 4.3% over Q3 2012, to $139 billion (£86.5bn), outpacing the 2.7% growth seen in the first half of 2012.

Graph showing advertising revenue spend in 2012 across the globe

An influx in advertising investments drove growth in the Middle East and Africa (up 18.9% for the year to date), as well as in North America. The North American market showed a 5% increase through September, bolstered by an impressive 10.2% increase during Q3.

Both the automotive and industry and services categories increased by double digits year-over-year, for both the year-to-date and Q3 in North America, bolstered by political advertisements, a big spend area leading up to the US presidential election.

"Growth in global ad spend accelerated in the third quarter. The Olympics, a major media event in all parts of the world, and the US presidential election helped drive investment up," said Randall Beard, global head, advertiser solutions for Nielsen.

Ad spend also grew in the Asia Pacific region, reporting a 2.7% increase in ad spend for the year-to-date through September and a 3.5% increase for Q3. This was supported by the recovery of China's advertising market, which showed positive ad-spending trends after two consecutive quarters of decline.

Peter Souter, chairman and chief creative officer at TBWA/London, told the Huffington Post UK he suspected the UK was behind on ad spend because "every news bulletin is focussed on telling people how crap everything is, which places a halt on spending".

"The only way out of this is for people to buy stuff, and the best way to get people to buy stuff is still advertising, in all its forms." he added.