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The communications briefing: British online advertising expenditure is the highest in the world

PR news this week, with thanks to Early Morning Media 


UK advertising strong …
A new report by Group M predicted that all news brands (national and regional) and magazines (consumer and B2B) will take home a combined 9.3% share of all UK advertising money this year, down from 10.3% in 2018 and 17% four years ago. The report stated: “Print is still set to decline in the near-term, with spending forecast to fall by mid-single-digit levels in 2019 and 2020. However, this is a noted improvement from the double-digit declines recorded only a few years ago.” Facebook and Google are expected to take around 75%, on a gross basis, of the £13.5bn in digital advertising estimated to constitute over 60% of all UK ad spend this year. Meanwhile, Brexit could result in a slowing down of advertising spend, with year-on-year growth of 6.1% in the overall UK ad market forecast for 2019, compared with a rise of 7.8% year-on-year in 2018. TV and radio advertising spend will remain fairly level in the foreseeable future, the report suggested.
Press Gazette   Mediatel

... and leads the world in online spend
Online advertising contributed 57% of the UK’s total advertising spend of £23.6bn in 2018, according to a new Enders Analysis report, which predicted that it will rise to 62% by 2020 as, relative to the size of the economy, British online advertising expenditure is the highest in the world at 0.63% of GDP. Only the US and China spent more than the UK on online advertising in 2018 and, since the 2008-2009 recession, annual online advertising spend here has grown by £10bn. Claire Enders, founder of Enders Analysis, said: "The innovation, skills and vitality of the sector should be celebrated as world-leading cornerstones of Britain’s creative economy, which our contribution to this report demonstrates."
World Screen

Goldman Sachs predicts relief for WPP
With organic growth expected to improve in the second half of the year, Goldman Sachs analysts increased their share price target to 1,150p from 870p for WPP. In a European media sector note to clients earlier this week, the bank’s analysts estimated that, helped by recent new business wins, a phasing out of account losses and easier comparatives from last year, the firm’s organic growth will improve to -0.7% in the second half of this year from -2.8% in the first half. Meanwhile, the bank’s new business tracker reportedly showed that the proposed sale of a 60%-70% stake in WPP’s data research arm Kantar could enable share buybacks of 1.7%, whilst the firm was deemed to be not "at risk" in either of the large account reviews from LG and Novartis. Industry consolidation was expected to remain a major theme in the coming year across the wider media sector, with ITV and Ascential plc seen as the most likely takeover candidates.
Proactive Investors

Podcast revenues music to the ears
Advertising revenues on US podcasts reached an estimated all-time high of $479m last year, an increase of 53% from 2017. The Podcast Revenue Report shows that the largest podcasting firms in the US reported combined revenues of $345m in 2018. Both reported and estimated advertising revenues increased year-over-year by 34% and 53% respectively, between 2017 and 2018, while ad revenue is predicted to continue to grow by 42% in 2019. IAB Executive VP of Industry Initiatives Anna Bager said in a statement: “Consumers have put podcasts front-and-center… Podcast storytelling is deeply engaging and provides marketers with a brand-safe environment that enhances the appeal to advertisers.” This follows research earlier this year which found that some 70% of the US population, or around 197m people, are familiar with the term “podcasting”, an increase from 43% a decade ago.

Reputational Risk

Boombod reported to ASA
Weight loss drinks company Boombod diet drinks and teas has been reported to ASA regarding claims about its products’ health benefits. The watchdog said it is assessing multiple complaints about the “misleading” claims, including a testimonial posted to the firm’s Instagram feed claiming to be from a user and reading: “I have type 1 diabetes and it helped to lower my blood sugars as well.” The Boombod website also claimed that its “weight loss shots” contain a fibre supplement that helps users feel fuller, which Diabetes UK responded to by saying there was “no evidence” that products such as these could improve blood sugars on their own. Dr Partha Kar, a Portsmouth-based NHS consultant diabetologist, remarked: “In type 1 diabetes, I would categorically say please don’t play cowboys… Because if they get ill, they get ill very quickly and that’s what we’re trying to avoid.” An ASA spokesman said the firm would need to provide evidence to support its claims, stating: “We’ve received further complaints about BoomBod ads – specifically around misleading weight loss and food supplement claims”.
The Independent


Leaked PR email reveals Amazon's Prime Day
Amazon's Prime Day is expected to take place on 15 July, according to a leaked public relations email reported by website Real Homes – which was promoting a vacuum cleaner deal. In what will be its fifth year, Prime Day has become a buzzy sales event the e-commerce giant uses to encourage people to sign up to its fast and free delivery service, and also pump up revenue during the typically slow summer season.


The new age of advertising
After chief brand officer for P&G Marc Pritchard claimed earlier this year that the rise of the Internet of Things-driven consumer products is completely transforming branding and could erase advertising as we know it, Real Business featured a report on the dawn of the era of ‘marketing to machines.’ It advised that in a few years, “brands will have made one of three triangular relationships with AI-platforms and customers”, listing these as DE-filtered (keeping direct contact with the customer), Filtered-IN (using marketing-to-machines to get past the gatekeeping AI platforms) and Filtered-OUT (no more customer contact no way to get noticed by them). P&G realised that each of its separate products will end up in one of those categories, and will fight to stay in the first category as much as it can due to an awareness of how strong the direct customer relationship is, according to the article. It also suggested that P&G might became a pioneer of a subscription-based product model where registered customers automatically receive toilet paper packages every two weeks, and noted that the ‘world without ads’ that P&G’s Pritchard described is “one of the many manifestations of the ‘cutting out the middle man’ tendency.”
Real Business

Robo-reporter writes front-page news
News agency Radar - Reporters and Data and Robots – has developed AI that is capable of creating general interest news stories, following a template created by human journalists.
Financial Times

And finally…

Pitch invader’s rude mission
Kinsey Wolanski, a model who invaded the pitch during the first half of the Champions League final between Tottenham and Liverpool, wore a swimsuit promoting a pornographic website owned by her boyfriend Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, who is known for prank videos on Youtube. The publicity stunt would have been worth almost $4m (£3.16m) in advertising, according to industry analysts. Ms Wolanski has appeared in magazines such as Sports Illustrated, FHM and Maxim.

This briefing has been prepared by Early Morning Media.  If you are interested in a customised bespoke news briefing for you or your client across any vertical, please contact

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