News & events

UK adspend report shows cautious optimism for 2021

National news brand adspend is set to grow by 11.5% in 2021 following a year of uncertainty brought on by the pandemic.

The latest Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report shows UK adspend is predicted to fall by 14.5% year-on-year in 2020 to £21.5bn, which is a slight improvement on the forecast in July.

Looking ahead, 2021 projections for the UK ad industry as a whole have been downgraded, with a full recovery not expected until 2022.

News brand adspend is projected to increase in 2021, particularly in digital news that is forecast to see more growth than originally predicted in July with almost a 4-percentage point improvement.

After a slow start predicted in the first quarter of next year, the second quarter will grow by a projected 46.8% across national news brands and 23.6% online and as a result, the total 2021 year-on-year forecast will be 11.5% for national news brands and 8.9% for online news brands.

Denise Turner, insight director, Newsworks commented: “The coronavirus has had a massive impact on the advertising industry this year, however the projections for 2021 are encouraging. Surging news readership and according to our ‘World Without News’ study, a greater appreciation of journalism, has meant that news brands continue to show their value in delivering large-scale engaged audiences to advertisers.”

Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, Advertising Association added: “These stark figures demonstrate the strain that all parts of the advertising ecosystem were under during the second quarter. Large parts of our industry and the wider economy were effectively shut down. Events of recent weeks have shown this will be no straight-forward recovery as different parts of our country enter or leave local conditions at varying speeds. We must boost growth and support jobs through an advertising tax credit and a skills programme to aid colleagues facing unemployment. It is essential that our workforce, business, and Government work together on the recovery plan for our industry and our country.”


Want the latest news, opinion and insight on newsbrands?
Sign up and we'll send you a weekly update.

Sign up here

Get in touch

3rd Floor
3 Marshalsea Road

0203 949 7470


Keep up to date

Please take a minute to answer a few questions on our new website. The feedback you provide will help us make the website easier for you to navigate and ensure you can find the content you’re after. In addition, we’ll enter you in to a prize draw for a £100 Amazon voucher*.

Take Survey Not now Never