A record £4.36bn spent in 2011 as internet giants plough millions into TV ads for first time.
Television advertising revenue in the UK increased by 2.2% year on year to a record £4.36bn in 2011, as advertisers such as internet giants Google and Groupon ploughed millions into TV commercials for the first time.
The UK TV market was buoyed by 887 new or returning advertisers – defined as those who have not run commercials for at least five years – according to research conducted by TV marketing body Thinkbox and Nielsen Media Research.
New advertisers, which accounted for £113m or 2.6% of TV ad spend in the UK, included Google, Groupon, Ann Summers, Jimmy Choo and British Airways new frequent-flyer brand Avios.
Google, which has historically shied away from TV and brand advertising, spent £5.2m on TV ads in the UK last year.
This represents 23% of the £22.5m that Google spent in the UK on all forms of advertising – including internet, outdoor, press and radio – according to figures from Nielsen.
Google’s ad spend in the UK has increased more than seven-fold in just three years. In 2009 Google spent £3m, in 2010 this more than doubled to £6.6m and then almost quadrupled to £22.5m last year.
The rocketing ad spend is a far cry from Google’s previous ethos with Eric Schmidt, the former chief executive, admitting on Twitter that “hell has indeed frozen over” when the search giant purchased one of the world most expensive ad slots to run a commercial during the Super Bowl in 2010.
Notable work in the UK last year includes ad agency BBH’s campaign for Google Chrome featuring Jamal Edwards, the teenager behind urban music site SBTV, which ran with the strapline “The web is what you make of it”.
Google UK also uses M&C Saatchi for marketing and advertising communications around the issue of privacy and has a prolific in-house ad department called Creative Labs.
Tess Alps, the chief executive of Thinkbox, said the rise in UK TV ad revenue was an encouraging performance particularly given that in 2010 the market rose 16% year on year in the recovery following the downturn, making a further rise last year all that more difficult to achieve.
“The strength of linear TV advertising investment reflects commercial TV’s record viewing and the further acknowledgement by advertisers of its ability to create business profit,” said Alps.
The top spending category remained retailers, followed by the entertainment and leisure sector, and finance.
Telecoms companies increased ad spend by 28.8% year on year, travel and transport rose 27% and the never-ending battle between comparison websites saw TV ad spend rise 21.5% year on year in this sector.
In January, Thinkbox produced its annual TV viewing report, showing UK viewers watched an average of four hours and two minutes of television per day. Each viewer watched an average of 47 TV ads per day in 2011.
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