UK Digital Ad Spending by Industry 2019

In a Digitally Advanced Market, Top Five Industries Spend at Similar Rates

Executive Summary

We estimate that UK digital ad spending will grow 11.2% in 2019 to reach £14.73 billion ($19.64 billion). In this report, we break out spending by display (including video), search, desktop and mobile for the five largest industries: automotive, consumer packaged goods (CPG), financial services, retail and travel.

Which industries will spend the most—and least—on digital ad channels in the UK in 2019?

No single industry will account for more than 15% of total digital ad spend this year. However, retail will lead the pack and will be the only industry to spend in excess of £2 billion, accounting for 14.7% of total spend. At the other end of the scale, the financial services industry will spend £1.75 billion ($2.34 billion), which will account for 11.9%.

What effect is Brexit having on digital ad spending trends across industries?

The two industries arguably most affected by Brexit—automotive and financial services—will see more-muted growth in digital ad spend this year and next. While most industries we track will post double-digit growth in 2019, financial services will see growth of just 9.4%, and automotive will grow 9.2%.

Will there be consistent device trends across industries?

Mobile, unsurprisingly, will see the biggest growth in spend across all industries, and this growth will be uniformly strong. However, desktop/laptop spend increases will be seen for the automotive, retail and travel sectors.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report features our latest forecasts for digital ad spending in five sectors—automotive, CPG, financial services, retail and travel—and outlines key trends shaping these forecasts.

KEY STAT: Digital ad spend in the UK across industries will be balanced in 2019, with no single industry accounting for more than 15% of the total.

Here’s what’s in the full report


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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Overview of Our Digital Ad Spending by Industry Numbers
  3. Automotive Digital Ad Spending
  4. CPG Digital Ad Spending
  1. Financial Services Digital Ad Spending
  2. Retail Digital Ad Spending
  3. Travel Digital Ad Spending
  4. Key Takeaways
  1. eMarketer Interviews
  2. Read Next
  3. Sources
  4. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Simon Harwood
Head of Strategy
Interviewed June 24, 2019
Hannah King
Head of Media Planning
Interviewed June 21, 2019
Henrik Schulte
Material Group Manager, Media and Digital
Interviewed April 12, 2019
Philip Wegloop
Georg Jensen
Interviewed April 4, 2019


Bill Fisher


Ross Benes
Jennifer Jhun
Research Director, International and Special Projects
Angela Kim
Senior Researcher
Oscar Orozco
Senior Forecasting Analyst