Print adspend shrinks by 11.7% year-on-year in Q2 2012

By Hannah Jordan, Friday 19 October 2012

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Total advertising spend in UK printed press fell by 11.7% to 900m compared to the same period last year while all other media adspend experienced an increase, figures show.


The latest quarterly Expenditure Report published by the Advertising Association and WARC show that B2B magazines saw the steepest decline in adspend with spending slashed by 21.5% compared to Q2 of 2011. Total magazine spend during the same period declined by 11.1% and total newspaper adspend experienced a drop of 11.9%.

Despite the continued decline in printed advertising spend other media, including television, radio, out of home, cinema and internet, experienced stronger growth in Q2 than was previously forecast. Combined UK adspend, which totalled £4.2bn for the period including direct mail, increased by 3.8% year-on-year, beating earlier forecasts by 0.9 percentage points.  

The increase in spending was attributed to the Diamond Jubilee and Euro 2012 as well as some advertisers moving budgets forward from Q3 due to the London 2012 Olympics. 

Looking ahead, the report forecasts an overall decline of 7.5% in printed adspend for the whole of 2012 compared to 2011. The internet is expected to fare the best with adspend expected to increase by 11.6% year-on-year by the end of Q4, followed by cinema up 8.1%, out-of-home rising by 5% and radio up 4.8%.

The only other medium, apart from print, that is expected to see an overall decline in adspend this year compared to 2011 is television, with a forecasted decline of 0.7% by the end of Q4.

Commenting on the decline in print adspend WARC research consultant Colin Macleod said that it had been partly driven by the shift away from print in favour of online and partly by the state of the economy.

"We think the Olympics will have had a small positive impact on display advertising in national newspapers and, looking further ahead, the rate of decline should ease as the economic climate improves.

"Inflation is falling and unemployment levels are static suggesting that real income levels will start rising over the next 12 months - with a corresponding impact on consumer spending and, as a result, on ad budgets."

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