Adland leaders respond to AA/WARC 2021 Expenditure Report

AA/WARC EXP Report 2021 industry comments - mediashotz

The latest AA/WARC Expenditure Report has forecast that UK ad spend will reach £29.3bn this year, growing by 24.8%. 

With the Christmas shopping period now well underway, the report also forecast a £7.9bn ad spend for the holiday season alone, almost £1bn more than 2020. 

It’s a welcome boost for the advertising industry following a tumultuous period of cuts and uncertainty over the last eighteen months. 

Moreover, the figures underscore an impressive recovery from the uncertainty of the pandemic that  now looks sustainable into next year.

AA/WARC report – industry comment

So, following the launch of the report, we’ve gathered expert reaction from across the industry:

Calum Smeaton, CEO & Founder, TVSquared

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“We’re seeing a return in confidence across the advertising space, as the markets that adapted so quickly to the pandemic continue to stabilise.

“Most notably, TV advertising spend is set to see its largest Q4 increase in over a decade, which supports what we’ve seen in terms of investment across the TV ad space.

“In particular, converged TV – encompassing linear, OTT, CTV, BVOD, etc. –  has had a profound impact on advertisers.

“Our recent survey identified that a third of UK marketing buyers allocate between 16-25% of their total TV budget to CTV, with those advertising across 6-10 platforms set to increase by 35% over the next year.

“As such, we’re starting to see advertisers, traditionally known to keep digital and traditional TV budgets and planning in silos, now recognise the need to bring all forms of premium video into one view.

“Moving forward, with audiences dispersed across content and screens, converged TV strategies will be the only way for advertisers to ensure they can reach their total TV audience.”

aa-warc exp report 2021 - mediashotz
Ad spend recovery: AA/WARC report shows reasons to be cheerful in adland.

Hasan Arik, Founder and CEO, Redmill Solutions

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“The AA/WARC forecast clearly shows an optimistic out-turn to 2021 advertising expenditure which is great news for both the economy and the marketing industry.

“However, what these numbers do not show is the increased requirement for investment agility. 

“The report’s highlighting of potential inflationary headwinds and supply chain disruption echo this. To deliver this agility, it is vital that advertisers take full control of their media data to get the visibility they need across all aspects of the marketing funnel.”

Christian Gladwell, global CEO, M&C Saatchi Performance

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“A key driver for the positive outlook is increasing digitisation, and we’re seeing this play out in a number of different areas as nimble marketing teams adapt in line with emerging trends to drive performance. 

“For example, TV’s addressable evolution delivers increasingly meaningful engagement at scale through technological innovations such as shoppable QR codes whilst also serving high-quality, brand-building content that tells a story. 

“For more traditionally DR activities, forward-thinking brands such as Boohoo, are bringing affiliate into broader digital partnerships, blurring the lines between brand and performance marketing across the entire funnel.

“Looking ahead, a key challenge to address will be the digital environment used to engage with consumers. 

“The larger marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay are already a few steps ahead, directing customers to their own mobile apps at the expense of web based experiences. 

“This not only makes sense from a customer experience perspective, offering a frictionless purchase journey, but also from a marketer perspective to drive a higher lifetime value and greater business intelligence.”

Álvaro Verdeja, COO, Making Science

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“The optimism resulting from increased marketing budgets needs to be tempered with the fact that it is harder for UK consumers to buy products. 

The reality of weakened UK supply chains and increased consumer prices means that if brands put increased budgets behind advertising and price promotions, they might be unable to meet demand. 

“It is great to see that marketers are also further committing to the digitisation of traditionally offline media channels. 

“The challenge for many marketers of how to bring it all together to measure and attribute performance across all channels still remains, though.”

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