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.


Bill Fisher


Ross Benes
Jennifer Jhun
Research Director
Angela Kim
Senior Researcher
Oscar Orozco
Senior Forecasting Analyst