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Internet advertising leads the way in the UK as ad spending soars to pre-recession levels

As every busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ag­er knows, online adver­tis­ing sales usu­al­ly get squeezed when com­pa­nies fear a down­turn — they cut their adver­tis­ing spend while the storm clouds gath­er and only start spend­ing again when the out­look improves. But if trends across the pond in the UK get mir­rored state­side, things are on the way up for adland.

Busi­ness devel­op­ment man­agers across the UK are prob­a­bly hug­ging them­selves with jubi­la­tion right now: the British ad mar­ket has leapt back to lev­els not seen since before the melt­down of 2007 – and it’s on course to grow vigorously.

Inter­net dri­ves the bounce-back

Accord­ing to fig­ures com­piled by the trade body Warc and the Adver­tis­ing Asso­ci­a­tion, total adver­tis­ing expen­di­ture will grow by 2.7 per cent this year and by a pos­i­tive­ly jaun­ty 5 per cent in 2014. And inter­net adver­tis­ing is lead­ing the way, along with video-on-demand (VoD). How­ev­er, tra­di­tion­al print and TV media are also see­ing a resur­gence in ad spending.

Mar­ket­ing spend is wide­ly seen as a barom­e­ter for the wider econ­o­my. As AA Chief Exec Tim Lefroy puts it:

“Adver­tis­ing does not just track GDP, it dri­ves it. The return to pre-reces­sion lev­els of spend­ing will have an impact not just on adland but the econ­o­my at large.”

It’s fair to point out that the UK had a very unique year in 2012, with the Lon­don Olympics and the Queen’s Dia­mond Jubilee both con­tribut­ing to a lift in the economy’s for­tunes. The ad mar­ket respond­ed favor­ably, climb­ing by 2.3 per cent to reach £17.17 ($26.72) bil­lion. But even so, many experts thought these two fac­tors would have a big­ger pos­i­tive impact than they in fact did.

Jubi­lant busi­ness devel­op­ment managers

The inter­net ad mar­ket is the big suc­cess sto­ry here. In 2012, it soared by 13 per cent to hit £5.42 ($8.44) bil­lion, while TV stayed flat at £4.48 ($6.97) bil­lion. And it’s on course to be the top per­former again this year, with its share of ad spend­ing set to climb by 10 per cent and by 9 per cent in 2014.

Also head­ing for an impres­sive leap is VoD, dri­ven large­ly by the increas­ing uptake of mobile devices – con­sumers have embraced mobile video view­ing in droves.

The UK is now the land of the hap­py busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ag­er. Let’s hope the US fol­lows suit.

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