UK digital ad spend soars despite fears over ad blocking

The spectre of widespread ad-blocking is yet to dent the UK digital display ad market which grew by more than a quarter in the first half to £1.31bn.

UK advertisers spent a record £3.98bn on all forms of digital advertising in the first half, up 13.4 per cent year on year, according to a new report by the Internet Advertising Bureau conducted by PwC.

The digital display advertising market, which some observers believe is facing a growing threat from consumers installing ad-blocking software, showed no sign of a slowdown growing at twice the rate of the total digital ad market.

Digital display advertising grew 27.5 per cent to £1.31bn in the first half. 

This is slightly down on the 30 per cent growth rate reported in the first half of last year, but up on the 26.4 per cent reported for 2014 as a whole.

“Recently a lot of the attention on digital advertising has been around challenges such as ad blocking,” says Tim Elkington, chief strategy officer at the IAB.

“However, it’s clear to see the UK digital advertising industry is maintaining strong revenue growth at a much greater rate than the overall economy.”

Ad-blocking software could be used regularly by as many as 200m people worldwide, according to a study by PageFair, a Dublin-based start-up that helps companies and advertisers recoup revenue lost to ad-blocking.

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