Online Businesses Biggest TV Ad Spenders in the UK - eMarketer
« Return to Mobile Website

Newsletters Sign-Up

Plans & Pricing

Does My Company Subscribe?

Online Businesses Biggest TV Ad Spenders in the UK

Overall TV outlays see seventh consecutive year of growth

February 24, 2017 | Ad Spending

TV ad revenues in the UK swelled by 0.2% in 2016 to £5.27 billion ($7.11 billion), according to commercial TV marketing body Thinkbox. Efforts to promote online businesses were responsible for the greatest share of that spending.

Advertising by online-only brands or for the online services of brick-and-mortar businesses represented the largest share (12.1%) of 2016 TV investment, according to Nielsen data cited by Thinkbox, with combined spending during the year up 8% over 2015 to £639 million ($862.5 million).

UK TV Ad Spending Growth, by Industry, 2016 (% change) owner BGL Group was the online sector’s biggest spender, devoting £38.3 million ($51.7 million) to TV ads in 2016, followed by Amazon at £34.3 million ($46.3 million).

With food businesses contributing a combined 10% less than in 2015, the sector dropped to second place with £627 million ($846.3 million) in TV ad investment last year.

The third-place sector, cosmetics and personal care, also pared back investment, down 3% to £439 million ($592.5 million), while entertainment and leisure business spending held steady at £419 million ($565.5 million). Investment by the fifth-place category, automotive, increased 2% to £314 million ($423.8 million).

The 2016 gain was the UK TV market’s seventh consecutive year of ad revenue growth by Thinkbox’s reckoning. Thinkbox’s spending estimates include all investment by advertisers in commercial TV across all formats and on every screen, including linear spot and sponsorship, broadcaster video-on-demand and product placement.

Despite consistently expanding ad investment, TV’s share of total media ad spending in the UK has been shrinking. The Advertising Association (AA) - UK and Warc estimate TV was responsible for 25.3% of UK ad investment in 2016, down from 26.0% in 2015.

eMarketer expected TV would garner a 23.9% share of total UK ad spending last year, a dip of 0.8 percentage points from 2015. We forecast TV to see steady incremental losses in overall UK ad spending share through 2020.

—Cliff Annicelli

New in eMarketer PRO This Week

Not a PRO subscriber? Find out how to become one.


  • Go beyond the articles:

    eMarketer Products

    You've never experienced research like this.

  • Hear from our clients:

    Customer Stories

    Nearly all Fortune 500 companies rely on us.

  • Want to learn more?

    Contact Us

    Inquire about corporate subscriptions today.