Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Advertising Association and WARC report: industry reaction to the positive findings

NDA has been gathering industry feedback to the incredibly positive news from the Advertising Association and WARC’s Expenditure Report. Read on for reaction from Teads, Redbus Media, Talon Outdoor, Incubeta, Skyrise Intelligence, Azerion and LiveRamp.

Tim Geenen, Managing Director, Addressability Europe at LiveRamp:  

“As the report suggests, we expected advertising budgets to recover and increase in 2021.  In fact, research we recently conducted highlighted that marketers had already expected the industry’s shift to being more privacy-first, so it is welcoming to see that it’s already having a positive impact on digital ad budgets.

Marketers now want to reach consumers based on authentications – supplied actively and with permission – and therefore will pay more for better and more accurate inventory that allows them to generate better ROI and to increase reach and efficiency. This isn’t surprising as we are regularly seeing people-based addressable buys outperforming traditional third-party cookie buys.

As a result, publishers should now be optimising the value of their authenticated first-party data by deepening the relationships they have with their readers and, also, moving much closer to a direct relationship with their key advertisers. Only then will we be able to build a more trusted, people-based ecosystem that drives better consumer experiences.”

Jeremy Arditi, Chief Commercial Officer at Teads:  

“Not only does the latest AA/WARC report show extreme recovery for the ad industry, but the growth is actually set to recover the entirety of 2020’s £1.8bn decline. It’s fantastic to see our industry flourishing again, but it should be highlighted that the scrutiny that was applied to media budgets is now rightly being carried through beyond lockdown. Media partners are no longer just being evaluated on cheapest CPMs, but on sustainable data practices, great consumer experiences, business outcomes as well as their impact upon society.

“With online display, including online video, set to see a 17.2% increase in ad spend this year, there is no better time for advertisers to seek out quality, ensuring brands are placed in premium environments alongside relevant content for the most impact.”

James Lane, MD, Redbus Media:

“It is encouraging to see that the UK advertising industry continues to grow in the face of uncertainty; even more so to see the promise of expected growth in media such as out of home. As the vaccination programme continues to rollout, we find ourselves in a social awakening where people are enjoying long lost freedoms once again. This resurgence of social interaction is something we have seen amongst 18-24 year olds with our recent research revealing 63% of students are keen to get out more and socialise. As we leave behind what we hope will be the end of the COVID-19 restrictions, we are optimistic that OOH will see a positive uplift as we move through Q3 and into Q4.”

Jonny Whitehead, Board Director, Skyrise Intelligence, comments: 

“It’s brilliant to see that UK adspend is predicted to grow by 18.2% this year, and the AA/WARC report really shows that the advertising industry is making an exceptional recovery from the pandemic. In particular, it’s fantastic to see such strong results expected for Digital Out of Home (DOOH) with a 43.7% increase following the easing of lockdown restrictions. 

“As people start to return to the office, brands and advertisers will need to make sure they have precise and accurate insights to better communicate with their audiences. By leveraging telco data, advertisers can ensure they are using up to the minute data, without the use of third-party cookies or ID’s to communicate with consumers at the right time, day and location across environments.” 

Barry Cupples, Group CEO, Talon Outdoor

“With outdoor activities resuming, we’re seeing a very positive outlook across Out of Home (OOH) environments, validated by the latest WARC projections, for both 2021 and 2022. If we’ve learned anything from our COVID experience, it is that understanding audiences by their location and mindset is paramount for brands to connect effectively. Digital OOH is back in positive growth with an ability and necessity to use context to appeal to the new consumer.

“We’re witnessing a true renaissance for Out of Home as the channel proves itself effective in delivering measurable outcomes through a smarter use of data, adtech platforms and location planning. Through digital screens we have the ability to follow audiences – from city centres and transport networks to local communities and back again.”

Dominic Woolfe, CEO, Azerion UK:

“More good news! It’s really encouraging to see such positive growth predicted for UK adspend following the decline during the pandemic in 2020. 

“However, it is critical that brands and advertisers don’t become complacent. As restrictions continue to lift and consumer habits begin to change, brands must make sure they find more creative and engaging ways to effectively connect with consumers. This will, in turn, lead to more meaningful outcomes to brand challenges.”

Damien Bennett. Global Director, Product Strategy & Growth at Incubeta:

“The upward revision is fantastic news for the industry and demonstrates pent-up demand from consumers. While not all industries are recovering at the same pace, the AA/WARC report shows that those worst hit, such as retail, travel and hospitality, can begin to feel confident about the future, due to the lifting of restrictions in England.”

“Challenges do still remain, and it’s crucial that marketers use these returning budgets to ensure their strategies are flexible and agile to any future bumps in the road. We have entered lockdowns overnight, so an omnichannel marketing strategy will ensure that marketers can weather any future storms on the horizon.”

*Teads, Talon Outdoor, Incubeta, Skyrise Intelligence, Azerion and LiveRamp are clients of Bluestripe Communications, owned by Bluestripe Group, the owner of NDA.