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Advertising’s primary role in society is economic. It helps to fuel growth, competition and innovation, while enabling firms to bring people better, more affordable products and services.

Its £100 billion contribution to the UK economy, as analysed in Deloitte’s first report for the Advertising Association, comprises the many ways in which UK citizens and and companies benefit economically from advertising activity.

But there’s another way in which advertising, in its broadest sense, enhances the quality of people’s lives. It funds the media, culture and sport people love and enjoy. Without the funding that advertising provides, much of what people value could face a significant decline in quality; much else would require fees and charges beyond what millions would be able to pay. Some things might even become unviable in their current form.

This report examines the impact of advertising on the media, and on the activities that people enjoy in their everyday lives. We estimate the “individual value” that this amounts to – the value, translated into monetary terms, of the perceived benefits people get from using services that are free or subsidised by advertising. We focus on television, radio, online services, newspapers and magazines, cinema and the arts, and sport.

The survey, of 1000 people, clearly shows that while people greatly value access to these services, they are not able (or willing, when set against their other financial constraints) to meet the full costs themselves.

The Advertising Association estimates that the gap between what people are willing to pay and the true cost of the advertising-funded media they receive is almost £5 billion, which is equal to £187 per household per year.

Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport says:

“The advertising industry is a powerhouse within the UK economy and its funding remains key to ensuring that we are able to provide the quality of recreational and culture services which individuals currently benefit from.”

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