Record High for U.K. TV Ad Revenue

With $6.85 billion spent, TV advertising is expected to have outperformed the total U.K. ad market in 2011.

LONDON - Television advertising revenue in the U.K. increased by 2.2 percent year-on-year to a record £4.36 billion ($6.85 billion) in 2011, as advertisers such as Internet giants Google and Groupon ploughed millions into TV commercials for the first time, according to The Guardian.

The U.K. TV market was buoyed by 887 new or returning advertisers – defined as those who have not run commercials for at least five years – according to research conducted by TV marketing body Thinkbox and Nielsen Media Research.

Google, which has historically shied away from TV and brand advertising, spent $8.2 million on TV ads in the U.K. last year – 23 percent of the $35.4 million that Google spent in the U.K. on all forms of advertising – including Internet, outdoor, press and radio – according to figures from Nielsen.

Tess Alps, chief executive of Thinkbox, said the rise in U.K. TV ad revenue was an encouraging performance particularly given that in 2010 the market rose 16 percent year-on-year in the recovery following the downturn, making a further rise last year all that more difficult to achieve.

"The strength of linear TV advertising investment reflects commercial TV's record viewing and the further acknowledgement by advertisers of its ability to create business profit," said Alps.

In January, Thinkbox produced its annual TV viewing report, showing U.K. viewers watched an average of four hours and two minutes of television per day. Each viewer watched an average of 47 TV ads per day in 2011.