UK Media Buyers Expect Ad Spend Bounce-Back, FreeWheel Research Reveals


New research from FreeWheel, a Comcast Company, has found that media buyers are confident about ad spend bounce-back in most sectors in the coming months.

The survey targeting media agencies, DSPs and direct advertisers, looked at buy-side perceptions of advertising in the UK, France and Germany in the current environment. When asked whether specific sectors would see a resumption in ad spend, UK respondents were most positive about the food industry (100%) and the tech sector (77%).

When asked about other sectors, two-thirds were confident about the return of ad spend in the telecoms (68%), beauty (65%), and financial services sectors (61%). Over half (55%) of respondents expressed confidence about an ad spend bounce-back for automotive.

Confidence across the three regions as a whole was slightly more cautious than in the UK when it came to ad spend on food (84%), technology (65%), and beauty (53%). The one area that bucked this trend was travel, where almost half (49%) expected spending to resume, as opposed to 35% in the UK.

The survey also asked media buyers what they thought advertising strategies would look like in the coming months. An overwhelming majority of UK respondents (68%) expected advertisers to invest the most in TV broadcasting and over-the-top video. In addition to this, over half of respondents (55%) planned to allocate more than 10% of their budgets towards ‘new TV’ or digital / advanced TV, which includes set-top-boxes, video-on-demand, over-the-top, addressable TV, and internet protocol TV.

The survey also indicated a move to more targeted or addressable techniques in general, with a third (31%) of respondents expecting to rely more heavily on data-based targeting.

Virginie Dremeaux, executive director, product and sales marketing international, FreeWheel, said of the findings:

“The advertising industry is entering a new phase after a long period of uncertainty. Our research hopefully provides reassurance as media buyers have expressed cross-sector confidence about ad spend.

“The study also provides insights into future media spend. Specifically, TV looks to remain a mainstay for media buyers, with an added focus on data-driven strategies, which indicates a focus on quality and return on investment for clients.”