UK Advertising Trends: An Olympic Sink or Swim?

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In 2012 UK adspend is forecast to increase by an aggregated 3.3% (based Carat, GroupM, Advertising Association, Zenith Optimedia and Strategy Analytics), however, the bleak economy and a number of major events has made it difficult for forecasters to predict with certainty the rise in revenue. With ZenithOptimedia suggesting a 3.5% growth and AA/Warc predicting a 2.5% growth.

Forecasts for 2013 are also extremely conservative with an aggregate 3.7% growth predicted fuelled by a fundamental shift towards digital which is predicted to provide a further 10.4% growth in 2013.

How did the different factors of 2012 affect the overall adspend forecasts?


Television is set to have the biggest revisions due the BBC’s Olympic monopoly. A slow start in Q1 and Q2 has dimmed expectations and only marginal growth is predicted for 2012.

Source: Mediatel


The major sporting events and the Diamond jubilee were an opportunity for print media adspend to attempt to recover from its persistent downward turn. However, it is now thought that overall Newspapers continue to experience negative growth in 2012.

Source: Mediatel


As with print media, magazines are predicted to have struggle in terms of ad revenue. GroupM believes that tablets have preserved (or even raised) quality newspaper readership, and it would be possible for a few consumer magazines to achieve this too. Business-to-business magazines, though improving, are likely to continue to struggle.

Source: Mediatel


Radio in contrast is expected to experience a healthy growth. Group M have forecast 4.7% growth and Carat have predicted a growth of 2.4%.

Source: Mediatel


Cinema is looking to build on a very promising Q1 result of 10% growth. GroupM have forecast a growth of 4.0% in 2012.

Source: Mediatel


Outdoor is one of the few media expected to flourish in 2012. With an average 4.4% growth. This success is due to the Olympics, Euro 2012 and Diamond Jubilee. This medium is then due to increase by 1.8% in 2013 as the capacity for digital formats reaches its peak.

Source: Mediatel


Digital media is expected to continue to boom this year. The medium continues to go from strength to strength. Group M believe they will deliver a 14.2% growth for the year.

Source: Mediatel

Overall, this year’s major events have affected how different media may have performed in recent months. 2013 will provide a challenge for all media given the return to ‘normality’ and no immediate signs of recovery in the economic outlook.


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