Spending on digital advertising in the UK is set to grow to more than £15bn this year amid a boom in new digital marketing technology, a new report has revealed.
Digital ad spend will enjoy double-digit growth in 2019 as the industry moves away from traditional media forms, according to the latest forecasts by Barclays Corporate Banking.
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The optimistic figures come amid an ongoing shift to digital in the sector, with out-of-home (OHH) advertising earmarked as a key area for transformation after digital OOH surpassed traditional outdoor for the first time last year.
Agencies have been grappling with disruption in the industry, with ad giant WPP undergoing a radical transformation plan in a bid to simplify its complex structure.
Despite concerns about sweeping changes across the industry, the report stated optimism remains high, while appetite for mergers and acquisitions remains buoyant.
Sean Duffy, head of TMT at Barclays Corporate Banking, said: “It feels like adtech is slightly pushed to the sidelines, which is a mistake as it is transforming advertising and can be another real growth engine for the UK economy.
“Adtech is already helping UK businesses compete on the global stage and will continue to allow brands to market themselves more effectively as further technology advances are harnessed.”
The report also identified a shift towards greater transparency as a significant development in advertising. Project-based activities are starting to replace traditional retainers while some brands have opted to move in-house, Barclays stated.
But the figures remain cautious as the possibility of a no-deal Brexit weighs on the advertising industry. Research by Enders Analysis has estimated ad spend would fall three per cent if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement in place.