Charities Falling Behind in Modern Technology Advertising, Shows Research

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30th September 2014 10:40 - Voluntary

Charities are still not exploiting advances in technology and continue to spend the bulk of their advertising budget on direct mail, new research has shown.

‘Ad Infinitum’, compiled by research consultancy nfpSynergy, also reveals that one in every £34 spent on advertising comes from charities and spending on TV continues to rise.

The research shows that charities spent £394m on advertising in 2013, nearly three fifths (61%) of which went on direct mail. Despite internet advertising being worth 46% of the total UK advertising market, charities continue to resist it. Internet ads represented just 2% of charities’ advertising spend last year, a figure that has barely risen from the 1% recorded in 2006.

TV spending is one of the few areas consistently rising in charity advertising. It now occupies one fifth (20%) of their budget (77.1m), up from 7.8% (£23.2m) in 2006. It has traditionally occupied around 28% of overall spending in the UK market.

Other spending, such as radio (3%), press (9%) and outdoor (2%), has barely changed for charities and door drops are still way behind direct mail on just 2%. Charities also avoid the silver screen, with cinemas always representing their lowest spend on advertising.

Joe Saxton, nfpSynergy’s Driver of Ideas, said: “Charities represent around 3% of the advertising market, which is a sobering reminder for those who want to use awareness advertising. What is also interesting is that although charities are increasing their spending on TV, they continue to resist internet advertising when it continues to boom in other sectors. Is this because charities are way behind in terms of technology? Or is internet advertising an extravagant use of money for few benefits and charities are just more frugal?”

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