Intense market competition will force advertising spending up to record levels this Christmas, new estimates suggest.

According to the Advertising Association, brands will spend £6 billion on advertising throughout the festive season – about 40 per cent more than in 2010.

High levels of competition in industries such as retail were said to be partly behind this surge, along with brands spending large sums on flagship Christmas campaigns.

The Advertising Association report, compiled by the thinktank Credos, also revealed that emotional advertising is proving especially effective for brands that want to drum up festive custom.

Indeed, nearly half of the people polled admitted they had been moved to tears by a Christmas advert, while one in six have altered their plans so they don’t miss the premier of a new festive commercial.

Karen Fraser, Director of Credos, told BBC News: “It’s just upped the ante and so many brands and retailers are looking to compete in that market. But it means that everyone needs to work harder to get people’s attention,” she added.

Christmas ad spend ‘to hit record high’ BBC News