Sir Martin Sorrell’s reaction to the UK’s Brexit vote was: “This is not good news, to say the least.”
But the latest forecasts from the advertising industry, including from GroupM, which is part of Sorrell’s WPP, appear more upbeat.
In a worst-case scenario, GroupM’s worldwide media and market forecasts report predicts a 4.5 per cent growth in the UK market this year.
GroupM’s report comes after forecasts from the Advertising Association/ Warc Expenditure Report also predicted adspending would continue to grow this year and next – although at a slower rate than previously predicted.
The report, which forecasts that global marketing expenditures will surpass $1 trillion next year, also condemned the “ill-tempered, often sensational and sometimes irresponsible political campaigning” around the run-up to the EU referendum.
“But the UK faces no new economic catastrophe,” the report said. “Neither demand nor the financial system has collapsed. There is no new market failure overwhelming us. The stock market is not the economy. We print our own currency and run our own monetary policy.
“In the short run – say the next six months to a year – it is likely companies will invest less than if we had voted to remain. Job creation, wage growth and productivity will be lower than they would otherwise have been. This is a difference of degree, not magnitude.”
Assuming hypothetically that print display advertising spend falls 20 per cent this year, with other traditional media flat, a 15 per cent growth in digital would still lead to 4.5 per cent overall, GroupM said.
“In the absence of actual recession, for which there is no evidence at the time of writing, we do not feel the need to stretch this speculation any further.”