U.K. Ad Spending Dropped 4% in '08

Digital Growth Lopped in Half; Long-Term Recovery Predicted After 2010

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LONDON (AdAge.com) -- U.K. ad spending was down by 9.6% in the fourth quarter of 2008 and 3.9% for the whole year, according to a report by the Advertising Association with the World Advertising Research Center.

Growth in digital spending, which accounts for just more than 20% of marketing budgets -- similar to TV in the U.K. -- was cut in half but still came in at 17.3% for 2008, compared to 39.5% the previous year.

All media other than digital suffered a decline between 2007 and 2008. Newspaper advertising was down 12%, magazines down 9.9%, TV down 4.9%, radio down 8.5%, outdoor by 3.8%, cinema by 0.9% and direct mail by 6%.

The Advertising Association's long-term forecast predicts a strong recovery for U.K. advertising expenditure after 2010, with budgets rising by as much as 52% in real terms (allowing for inflation) over a 10-year period to 2020, and a minimum of 28%.

Even during the recession, Forrester Research reports that half of global marketers will increase their social-media marketing spending.

However, social-media spending remains very small in comparison to other media. In a survey of 145 global interactive marketers employing 250-plus staff, Forrester found that 75% were planning to spend $100,000 or less over the next 12 months in the category.

The majority of social-media budgets are not pre-determined -- 45% said they were generated on an "as needed" basis throughout the year.

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