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Ad spend increased says IAB

Strong growth for European digital ads reports IAB

Despite the pandemic, European digital advertising grew 6.3% in 2020 to Euro 69 billion. Typically, advertising markets react strongly to an economic downturn, but this time digital advertising bucked the historic trend, IAB Europe said in its ADEX Benchmark study for 2020 covering 28 markets.

A total of seven markets had double-digit year-on-year growth. Turkey was the most dynamic with growth of 34.8% and is now in the top-10 European markets in terms of advertising spend. In 2020, only three markets experienced advertising spend decline, the report shows. The top 10 markets though (starting with U.K., Germany, France, Russia and Italy) concentrate 86% of digital ad spend, while it is the CEE markets that lead growth: 10 out of 14 markets that grow above European average are from CEE.

“Measured against the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent economic deterioration, even some of the largest markets like Italy, Spain, France, and The UK were posting solid performances. Germany, who was seen to navigate the COVID-19 case numbers better than most, experienced a double digit growth of 10.4% in 2020.”

The report says that driven by the explosion of e-commerce, small businesses and the return of brand advertising in the second half of 2020, social and video posted the strongest growth across all channels. Social grew by 15.9% with video growing by 16.3%. Meanwhile, display grew by 9.1% and search was up 7.9%.

Digital advertising did not have a bad year in 2020, only a bad quarter”, said Daniel Knapp, Chief Economist, IAB Europe. “We saw rapid recovery already setting in in Q3 before double-digit growth in Q4.”


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