Google and retail help seal record ad take for TV

Record viewing figures, big spending retail clients and Google's debut television campaign helped TV advertising to its highest ever ad haul of £4.36bn in the UK during 2011, up 2.2% year on year.

TV viewing: record audience numbers boost ad sales
TV viewing: record audience numbers boost ad sales

The TV sector attracted 887 new or returning advertisers (classed as those absent for five years or more) in 2011 including Google, Avios, Asics, Majestic Wine, and Unum, according to figures from commercial TV marketing body Thinkbox.

Combined they accounted for 2.6% of total TV ad revenues, according to The Nielsen Company.

The Nielsen Company found the top spending TV advertising category in 2011 was retail, increasing its investment by 2% year on year, followed by entertainment and leisure (up 1%).

Big increases in spend from the telecoms sector, up 28.8%, travel and transport, up 27%) and from comparison websites, up 21.5% helped push total TV advertising (including spot and sponsorship) to its highest ever figure.

Viewing figures matched the record set in 2010, with Barb figures suggesting Britons spent 28 hours and 14 minutes watching linear TV every week.

Commercial TV accounted for 64% of this figure in 2011, helping drive commercial impacts up 2.6% on 2010. Thinkbox put the number of ads watched by the average viewer at 47 a day during 2011.

A spokesman for Thinkbox said it approximates the wider advertising market increased by 1.5% in 2011, suggesting linear TV's share of total advertising increased for the fourth consecutive year.

Thinkbox was provided with revenue data from the TV sales houses, including ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, BSkyB and Turner Media Innovations.

Tess Alps, chief executive, Thinkbox, said: "This is an encouraging performance by commercial TV, especially as it follows the market-leading 16% revenue growth seen in 2010 and was achieved during uncertain economic times.

"The strength of linear TV advertising investment reflects commercial TV's record viewing and the further acknowledgement by advertisers of the evidence of its unrivalled ability to create business profit."

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