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UK Digital Ad Spend Hits £10Bn

UK Digital Ad Spend Hits £10Bn

Reading some stories produced by mainstream UK media outlets this morning throws up some interesting insights into the world of digital marketing. A story in The Guardian caught our eye, with the news that internet ad spending in the UK topped £10 billion in 2016.

The figures, which have been extracted from a report by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK, suggest that there has been a 17% increase in a 12 month period. The Guardian also reports that:

“Last year’s increase, the biggest since 2007, was fuelled by a boom in mobile ad spend, which rose by 51% to £3.9bn.”

That’s an interesting highlight within the report, with mobile spend climbing quickly and now accounting for around 40% of total digital advertising spend in the UK. The newspaper reported back in 2015 that UK digital advertising was close to matching all other forms of advertising spend added together and it looks like that point has now been reached.

But this morning’s story also considers the impact of some advertisers pausing their YouTube advertising, as a result of recent issues with content on the network.

Is the rise of Internet advertising having an impact elsewhere? The Independent reports that 2016 witnessed the greatest decline in UK high street stores since 2012, noting that:

“A total of 896 stores disappeared from Great Britain’s town centres in 2016, the biggest decline since 2012 as openings outstripped closures.”

The report goes on to offer a number of explanations as to what the causes may be, including consumers spending more on fitness and experiences (including meals out) than in traditional retailers. But a comment from Mike Jervis, a retail specialist with PwC, outlines concerns that fashion stores are increasingly losing out to online competitors.

Meanwhile, the UK’s largest retailer, Tesco, has announced a surge in profits. With £1.28 billion of profits, representing the first growth since prior to the financial crisis, it looks like Tesco have bounced back strongly. Despite facing increased competition from so-called discounters (including the likes of Aldi and Lidl), together with online competitors, the retailer has evidently seen something of a return to form.

Finally, The Independent also draws attention to the issue of privacy, noting that Google’s voice search technology allows conversations to be stored. It is possible to delete these files, although we wonder how many people know (and therefore choose) to do so. One element that is not mentioned within the article and which strikes us is whether Google keeps backups of such data. In other words, when you choose to delete a recording, is it really deleted from Google’s servers, or are other copies kept in place?

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Keith Barrett
With more than 15 years of digital marketing experience, Keith Barrett is a fully Certified Google AdWords Partner. Offering insights into the world of PPC marketing in the UK, Keith is a Senior Consultant here at Search South. If you'd like to hear more of Keith's thoughts, then you can subscribe to our newsletter.