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Spend spend spend (on social media)

Global social media ad spend is expected to overtake print for the first time this year. Zenith’s Advertising Expenditure Forecast demonstrates that advertising spend on social media is predicted to grow 20% in 2019 to a total of $84 billion, while advertising spend in newspapers and magazines will drop 6% to $69 billion. The figures put social media in third place as the largest advertising channel behind paid search and TV.

In the UK, the news is reflected in Facebook’s 2018 accounts, which show that it made £1.66 billion in UK ad sales and paid £28 million in tax. The social media network outperformed Channel 4, as the TV broadcaster’s total 2018 ad revenue was £975 million. ITV, however, continues to dominate the market, with 2018 ad revenues of £3.8 billion.

Helping health 

We have seen a somewhat fractious relationship between politicians and the media recently, but Health Secretary Matt Hancock has praised The Sun’s recent mental health coverage, saying it ‘helped to lead the national debate’. Speaking at the paper’s Who Cares Wins health awards, Hancock said its coverage has ‘put mental health up there with our physical health’. The praise comes after The Sun rang a week-long You’re Not Along campaign in September 2018 across print and digital, and this year launched its Let’s Talk campaign.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail launched a new campaign to encourage the take-up of childhood vaccinations last week.  The paper, which is calling for the NHS to introduce a new alert system to remind parents of immunisation appointments, said: ‘We are urging ministers to start a massive publicity drive to reassure parents that vaccines, particularly MMR, are safe and vital.’

Disruptive journalism

The HuffPost Centre for Journalism formerly launched last week in Birmingham. US Editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen launched the new venture at Birmingham City University, giving students the opportunity to study modules such as ‘Disruptive Publishing’ and ‘Journalism Innovation’. Dr Sarah Jones, head of the Birmingham School of Media, said the partnership ‘was a real chance to change the media narrative from being London-centric’.



Chris Mason has been appointed host of BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions. He will succeed Jonathan Dimbleby.

George Nott has joined The Grocer as technology editor.

Phoebe Luckhurst is now features editor at the Evening Standard.

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