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UK festive adspend to hit £6.4bn

14 Nov 2018  |  David Pidgeon 
UK festive adspend to hit £6.4bn

UK businesses will spend almost six and a half billion pounds on seasonal advertising during the final quarter of this year, according to new forecast figures from the Advertising Association.

Competition during the Christmas trading period has intensified every year, with spend increasing 5% on the previous record in 2017.

In the final quarter of 2010 advertisers spent £4.3bn, with that figuring rising to more than £5bn by Q4 2015 and reaching a record £6.1bn last year. Q4 2018 is expected to reach £6.41bn.

“Advertisers are increasing their investments in Christmas advertising year-on-year, because they know Christmas advertising works," said Karen Fraser, leader of advertising’s think tank, Credos.

"As the UK high street faces an uncertain future, Christmas is one of the key periods for retailers. Advertising helps stores attract customers, and that helps sustain jobs and high streets in the UK. We need advertising, and we need Christmas advertising in particular.”

In the run-up to Christmas last year, retailers faced challenging conditions according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), with footfall down by 3.5% in December 2017, the biggest decline since March 2013.

During the same period, however, food sales were up by 4% year-on-year, while non-food sales fell by 1.4%, suggesting advertisers had their work cut-out persuading consumers to part cash for non-essentials.

Retailers have already posted their weakest sales figures for five months in September this year as consumer confidence took a knock in the face of heightened Brexit uncertainty.

Retail sales fell by 0.2% on a like-for-like basis compared to the same month in 2017, according to the BRC.

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