Study: Ad Industry Accounted for 19 Percent of U.S. GDP in 2014

New findings from ANA and The Advertising Coalition

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For anyone down on advertising, the Association of National Advertisers and The Advertising Coalition commissioned a study that highlights some of the industry's big economic benefits. Namely, advertising contributed $3.4 trillion to the U.S. GDP last year, a figure that accounts for 19 percent of the country's entire economic output.

The study, done in partnership with IHS Economics & Country Risk, was also designed to analyze the impact a recent tax proposal would have on the U.S. economy. The proposal would allow businesses to deduct 50 percent of their annual advertising spending.

"This new study underscores the essential nature of advertising in promoting both business and economic growth in this country. The very fact that this industry contributes nearly 20 percent to the nation's GDP sends a powerful reminder to policymakers that advertising is an essential stimulus to the U.S. economy that should be promoted and not subjected to tax," Bob Liodice, president and CEO of ANA, said in a press release. 

Here are a few additional findings:

  • Advertising jobs reportedly made up 14 percent, or 20 million, of the 142 million jobs in the country for 2014.
  • Each industry job was said to support an additional 34 jobs across different industries.
  • The ad industry supported $1.9 trillion in salaries and wages, roughly 17 percent of all labor income in the U.S. 
  • Advertising will support over 23 million jobs in the U.S. by 2019.
  • In the next few years, advertising spending rates are projected to grow 3.3 percent annually and will reach $349 billion by 2019.

"Time and again, the data supports that advertising brings a unique benefit to the U.S. economy. When considering the impact the advertising industry has had on the output of goods and services in this country, and the creation and retention of U.S. jobs as a result, there are very few American industries that can compare in terms of across-the-board economic value," Bob Flanagan, director at IHS, said in a press release. 

"ANA is proud to see data that affirms that advertising is a major contributor of revenue and a true engine of job creation in the U.S," Liodice added. 

You can find the entire report here. Take a look at some of the key points from the study in the infographic below.  


@ktjrichards Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.