The Irish advertising market recovered strongly in 2021 from the pandemic hit to spending in the previous year, according to a report from media investment company, GroupM Ireland.
The report captures growth of 20% in the advertising market last year following a decline of 6% in 2020 due to the effects of the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In its ‘This Year, Next Year’ Report, GroupM is forecasting growth of 9% in the Irish advertising market in the year ahead.
That rate is closely aligned with GroupM’s projection for global advertising growth of 22.5% in 2021 and 9.7% in 2022, according to the company’s Global End of Year Forecast Report.
The sector which saw the highest level of growth in advertising spend in Ireland in 2021 was the drinks industry – both alcoholic and soft drinks – which saw a significant growth rate of 80%.
Other traditional high spend categories such as household Services, finance and Government, social, and political organisations retained similar market share by maintaining the high levels of advertising seen throughout 2020.
Growth in spending on digital advertising exceeded the rest of the industry with a growth rate of 23% registered in 2021.
Digital channels now account for 60% of Irish advertising spending, up from 58% last year.
GroupM predicts this will continue to rise to 62% of market share in 2022.
GroupM credits this growth to the continued expansion of the app ecosystem, increasing consumer adoption of e-commerce and the growing role of cross-border media marketplaces.
Search advertising also outperformed the average growth rate for digital.
Digital advertising has grown at an even faster rate on a global basis, now accounting for almost two thirds of market share, up from 60.5% in 2020.
GroupM estimates that Meta (Facebook), Alphabet (Google) and Amazon accounted for between 80 and 90% of the global total.
Television advertising spend grew by 16% domestically in 2021, accounting for 18% of market share, while radio grew by 12%, accounting for 9% market share.
Print titles temporarily halted previous declines, with newspaper advertising rebounding by 15% due to a strong digital-first bounce back from smaller scale, local advertisers.
Newspapers accounted for 8% market share in 2021 and magazines accounted for 1%.
Newspaper advertising is expected to fall by 8% in 2022 and will account for 7% market share next year according to the report.
“Overall, 2021 was a positive year of growth for the advertising industry in Ireland. After a particularly difficult year for the industry in 2020, it is extremely reassuring to see the high level of growth in the market over the past year, with indicators that this will continue in 2022,” Bill Kinlay, Chief Executive Officer of GroupM Ireland said.
“Similar to other areas of society however, the advertising industry may not look entirely the same as before, with a number of long-running trends being pulled forward, such as the accelerated pace of digital disruption. However, the gradual re-opening of society is also restoring some of the spending on other formats,” he added.
Among the trends identified in the report was the continued importance placed on TV advertising by large advertisers.
While Digital accounted for 60% of the advertising market over the past year, the report notes that many smaller advertisers will allocate all or nearly their entire budget to this format, while larger advertisers typically allocate a larger share of their budget to TV.
In an analysis of GroupM’s own data, it was revealed that a large advertiser in Ireland typically allocated 40% of its budget to TV and 30% to digital in 2021.