Newspaper ad spend still strong despite downturn

New figures show that newspapers are still by far the biggest advertising medium in the UK — despite a survey earlier this month suggesting they would this year be overtaken by the internet.

UK print advertising spend totalled £8.6 billion in 2005, down 1.8 per cent on 2004, according to new figures from the Advertising Association.

Research compiled for the AA by the World Advertising Research Centre shows that print advertising still accounts for 45.3 per cent of the total £19bn ad market in the UK.

Web advertising accounted for 7.2 per cent of the total ad spend, in fourth position, with direct mail and television taking bronze and silver respectively.

Internet advertising grew by 65.6 per cent this year.

Last month, a report by Group M, part of global ad firm WPP, suggested the web would overtake print as a source of advertising revenue this year.

Marketing director of the Newspaper Society, Robert Ray said: "Although the general advertising market is perhaps slower than it has been in recent years, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that this is cyclical."

Ray added: "For other everyday media channels, advertising avoidance, such as skipping ads and switching channels, is an increasing issue. This isn't the case for regional press.

"This insight provides advertisers with the confidence that investment in regional press advertising can and will deliver results."

Newspaper Marketing Agency planning director Anne Foster said: "The figures tell you how important newspapers are as an advertising medium, but clearly the market is evolving when you look at penetration of broadband."

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