Digital fashion adspend on the rise as print suffers

Burberry’s SS16 campaign has played out across digital platforms as well as the more traditional glossy magazines

All the money Burberry and the rest of the luxury sector are spending on digital advertising had to come from somewhere and now we know where. It’s print, and more specifically newspapers that are suffering.

A new Zenith Luxury Advertising Expenditure report shows that digital adspend will continue to rise during this year and next while luxury brands will cut back on their print spending.

In fact, they’ll spend 3% more on digital for a total of $10.9bn this year alone across 18 major markets. But they’ll cut back on their print ads with a drop from $133m last year to $128m this year and $122m in 2017. Not that Vogue, Bazaar, Elle et al will feel the pinch that much as newspapers take the bulk of the cuts and glossy mags remain a key channel for investment. Of course, some of the digital advertising will got to the websites and apps of the very magazines and newspapers that would previously have hosted more print ads.

Yet print overall still gets 83% of fashion and accessory luxury advertising budgets and 60% of the spend for jewellery and watches.

But digital is clearly the alluring new kid in town. While by 2017, print adspend will have fallen $150m, digital will add $837m, so it’s clear that overall adspend is rising as a result of the digital revolution.

Countrywise, much of the big money is being seen in the US digitally with that country in top spot on a 45% share of spend. It’s followed by China on 21% with Germany and France third and fourth. But even though the UK will only see a 1.5% rise in digital adspend this year, it will take the fourth spot from France by year-end.

This post first appeared on, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday