Reaching the Consumer in the U.K.

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Marketing Opportunities

Growing Sectors
The services sector has seen the fastest growth over the last ten years. This was across all sectors, with particular strength seen among business service companies and hotels and restaurants.

The 2012 London Olympics represent currently a high demand for infrastructure development and site construction etc., which will change closer to the date for sports equipment, security, catering etc. Opportunities exist in the following consumer sectors: clothing, computers and peripherals, drugs and pharmaceuticals, telecoms equipment, travel and tourism.

Consumer Behavior
Consumers respond well to advertising and will buy if they see an advantage such as price, quality, superior design, branding or environmental benefits. After-sales service is important as consumers do not hesitate to complain and defend their rights.
Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power
The UK has a growing population, which has increased faster in recent years. The UK population is ageing but not as fast as the populations of many other EU25 countries. In mid-2006, the average age was 39 years, an increase on 1971 when it was 34,1 years. Approximately one in five people in the UK were then aged under 16 and one in six people were aged 65 or over. With a stable, service-focused economy, high employment and long working hours, consumer income and expenditure has been rising in recent years. With the so-called ‘credit crunch', this is now slowing down.

The gap between ‘have' and ‘have not' is also widening. Therefore, the country presents a contrasted picture. This is illustrated in many ways: for example, while the country is highly urbanized, it places a high value on country living. Consumer loyalty has weakened due to increased mobility and easy accessibility to product information. Thus, consumers are increasingly shopping around for the best deals and stores offer loyalty schemes to keep their custom.

Consumer Recourse to Credit
UK consumers have a well-established “buy now, pay later” culture and borrow commonly, whether through mortgages (housing), personal loans (cars) or credit cards (everyday purchases). In 2007, the level of personal debt exceeded GDP. At this alarmingly high level, many find themselves unable to repay their loans.
Consumers Associations
NCC , National Consumer Council
Which , UK Consumers' Association

Media in Which to Advertise

Expensive but reaches consumers massively.

Main Televisions
BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation)
BBC World
Channel 4

Expensive but reaches consumers massively. In regional or local newspapers, it is suited only for a product with strong potential in a specific region.
Specialised magazines are worth considering to reach a focused target.

Main Newspapers
The Independent
The Times
The Sun
Daily Telegraph
Direct mail can be personalized, customized and targeted and very creative. The volume of direct mail has increased by 87% in the last 10 years and it is estimated that it generated GBP27 billion worth of sales in 2004. See the Direct Mail Information Service webpage (address below).
In Transportation Venues
Used in major cities on the side of buses and taxis. Also as posters and flat-panel videos in the street.

Market Leaders:
Taxi Cabvert Media (agency)
Vision Outdoor Ltd (agency)
Taxi Promotions UK (agency)
There are many radio stations, national, regional and local, with a substantial audience. Some stations do not accept advertising.

Digital radio offers new channels representing specific interests, with more opportunities for precise targeting. They can also display text, which means advertisements can also include telephone numbers, product information and offers.

Main Radios
BBC Radio National services.
Virgin radio - national commercial pop and rock station
Talk Sport - national commercial sports station
Classic FM - national commercial classical music station
New Technologies (E-Marketing, SMS, etc.)
Advertising through SMS messages is increasingly common.

Market Leaders:
Message Media
Main Advertising Agencies
Saatchi & Saatchi
Publicis Groupe SA
WPP Group plc
Aegis Group plc

Main Principles of Advertising Regulations

The rules have been strengthened particularly with the intention of protecting the young in the four areas where they may be considered vulnerable to alcohol misuse: sexual behaviour, immoderate drinking, youth appeal and anti-social behaviour. For more information visit the website of the Advertising Standards Authority.
On 14 February 2003 The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002 came into force, prohibiting the advertising and promotion of tobacco products. It does not, however, cover advertisements for rolling papers or filters and does permit certain tobacco advertising at point of sale. For more information visit the website of the Advertising Standards Authority.
The advertising of medicinal products in the UK is controlled by a combination of legislation and codes of practice. The 2 main ones are: the Medicines (Advertising) regulations 1994 and the Medicines (Monitoring of Advertising) Regulations 1994. Consult the text on the website International Comparative Legal Guide Series.
Use of Foreign Languages in Advertisement
Retailers must ensure that all goods they sell display the compulsory information, in English, on each item. Generally, if an advertisement contains any foreign languages or signs, the advertiser must provide an English translation for them.
Organizations Regulating Advertising
Advertisers Standards Authority
Committee of Advertising Practice
Trading Standards

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