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The rise made 2010 the strongest year for adspend growth since the dotcom boom of 2000. It also represented a significant bounce-back from recession.
The performance was partly due to a higher than expected adspend increase in the fourth quarter of 2010.
During the three month period, adspend increased by 5.8%. Direct mail (+12.7%) was the strongest performing medium, ahead of television (+12%).
Direct mail adspend amounted to £1,685.9 million in 2009, rising to £1,711.5 million in 2010. A slight fall to £1,691.7 is predicted for this year.
Looking forward, growth is expected to dip to 2.9% in 2011, before rising back to 5.5% in 2012. The modest prediction for this year can be attributed to a relatively weak economy and falling consumer confidence.
Adspend growth will also suffer in year on year comparisons to its strong performance in 2010.
However, the economy and advertising are expected to revive in 2012, with the latter boosted by spend associated with the London Olympics.
"These are good news figures, not just for the advertising sector itself, but for UK business more widely, says Chief Executive of the Advertising Association, Tim Lefroy.
"Rising ad spend reflects investment in sales by business, growth in media and content and, ultimately, signals a competitive, healthy UK economy "
Suzy Young, Data Editor at Warc, added that 2010 was an impressive year for UK adspend.
"This included a surprisingly strong performance from direct mail in the second half of the year. This could be attributed to advertisers relying more heavily on the more traditional and immediate forms of communication with the consumers," she said.