Brexit Taking Its Toll on U.K. TV Advertising

Enders Analysis predicts 5% drop Y-on-Y in TV advertising.
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LONDON—Brexit is already having an impact on TV advertising in the U.K., according to a new report from Enders Analysis.

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The company predicted British TV advertising spend would fall 5% year-on-year during 2019 due to the prospect of Brexit on Oct. 31, with companies cutting back on marketing budgets and shifting their money into other forms of media.

Enders said the revision of its forecast is for the second half of 2019 and mostly for Q4; it has been brought about by the prospect of the “U.K.’s cliff-edge Brexit on Oct. 31, without an agreement and transition period of continued free trade to the next trading regime with the EU,” said the report.

It also said TV market sources have reported “exceptional volatility and nervousness about Q4, and the difficulties of estimating Q4 spends.”

The report continues that a no-deal Brexit will impede the supply of goods to retailers, and notes that the U.K. consumer spends the most on retail in Europe, mostly imported from the EU (fresh food, clothing). This factor alone will damage TV advertising, said Enders, which may also be in structural decline due to the switch to direct response media.

Enders also noted that TV set viewing has continued to fall in the first seven months of 2019, with linear commercial TV viewing declining 4.3% year-on-year, continuing to be impacted by the rise of BVoD, SVoD and YouTube—though still averaging just under 2 hours 20 minutes per day.