The total amount spent on advertising by UK retailers fell to £1.2bn in 2018, despite total spend across all sectors rising by 6.3% during the year.
The UK retail sector spent £1.25bn on advertising in 2018, down 1.8% year-on-year according to new data from the Advertising Association and WARC.
The only parts of the retail sector that saw year-on-year growth in terms of adspend last year was digital retail, where spend increased 57.8% to £187.5m, and cinema retail, which had a 4.4% increase to £10.9m.
Retailers’ spend on print media advertisement fell 15.2% to £149.9m; 7.6% to £378.1m on television ads; and 7% to £76.2m on radio.
Last year was the first time that retail adspend as a whole had fallen since at least 2015.
However, the Advertising Association predicted that retail adspend in total would increase by 4.3% to over £1.31bn in 2019 and by a further 3.4% to £1.35bn by 2020.
While adspend fell in the retail sector, the Advertising Association said that total spend across all sectors in the UK rose 6.3% year-on-year in 2018 to £23.6bn. This marked the ninth consecutive year of market growth and was the highest total since monitoring began.
Chief executive of the Advertising Association, Stephen Woodford, said that every pound spent on advertising generated six pounds of gross domestic product in 2018.
He added: “With further growth predicted for both 2019 and 2020, UK advertising looks set to deliver over a decade of continuous growth. Like all UK industries, we hope to see a positive resolution of the Brexit situation, with business-friendly data, immigration and trade outcomes that could further boost this forecast growth.”