UK advertisers are cutting almost £44m from their TV ad campaign budgets in the run-up to Christmas, as a shift in focus to targeting shoppers on digital media could give Google, Facebook and YouTube a bumper festive season.
As the annual Christmas advertising battle hots up – Burberry’s campaign featuring Matt Smith, Kristin Scott Thomas and Naomi Campbell the latest to be unveiled – TV companies are feeling the squeeze.
The UK ad market will benefit from a £6.4bn marketing frenzy in the fourth quarter – £300m more than 2017 and the most ever spent in a Christmas period – but the total amount spent on TV advertising is expected to fall by almost £44m in the final three months of the year.
The fall in festive TV marketing spend has come as a shock. Last week ITV’s share price tumbled 5%when it informed investors of a chilly outlook for Christmas.
When forecasts were released in July, advertising experts had initially expected a 1.6% rise in fourth quarter TV spending. But on Wednesday, those forecasts were revised, and the TV ad marketis now expected to decline by 1.4% in the run-up to Christmas. This means that total spending on TV ads this festive season will fall from £1.48bn to £1.43bn, according to new figures from the Advertising Association/Warc.