Kantar Media Reports Increase in U.S. Advertising ExpendituresSeptember 11, 2012
Lower spending from the top 10 group was most pronounced for a trio of advertisers (AT&T, General Motors, Procter & Gamble) that had expensive TV sponsorship positions in the Summer Olympics. Some of their second quarter reductions represent a deferral of spending into July and August to support Olympic marketing programs. Because of this timing phenomenon, the Top Ten advertisers are a less reliable benchmark when analyzing the Q2 ad marketplace.
Procter & Gamble was the top-ranked advertiser in the period, with measured spending of $577.3 million, down 13.2 percent. It was the sixth consecutive quarterly decline for P&G and is consistent with company announcements that it plans to tighten marketing budgets and shift more money out of traditional media.
The largest percentage drop among the top 10 marketers came from General Motors, which slashed its expenditures 30.1 percent, to $291.9 million. GM’s annual rate of measured ad spending is now at its lowest level in over a decade. By contrast, Toyota Motor spent $285.0 million in the second quarter, an increase of 22.7 percent compared to the year ago period when operations were severely curtailed by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
Ad expenditures for the two largest telecom marketers continued to move downward. AT&T expenditures fell 21.0 percent, to $375.5 million and Verizon Communications cut its media budgets by 14.7 percent, to $326.9 million.
Unilever entered the top 10 rankings by spending $278.3 million, a 48.6 percent jump. The company raised marketing support broadly across its brand portfolio. Media expenditures at Comcast increased 12.8 percent and reached $469.7 million on higher budgets from its movie studio division. L’Oreal investments rose 9.0 percent to $377.8 million as the company continued to aggressively support its core cosmetics and hair care brands.
Measured Ad Spending By Category
Expenditures for the ten largest categories grew 1.3 percent in the second quarter of 2012 to $21,248.1 million.
Retail was the top category with expenditures of $3,837.4 million in the period, up just 0.9 percent versus a year ago and a sharp slowdown from 8.6 percent growth in the first quarter of 2012. Higher spending by department store brands was offset by declines from home improvement and home furnishing stores.
Automotive was the second largest category by dollar volume, with media spending of $3,373.5 million—a 7.7 percent increase. Dealer ad budgets rose 16.8 percent while manufacturers spent 2.2 percent more. Category growth was primarily attributable to Toyota and Honda, which could easily demonstrate growth compared to 2011, when their production and marketing activities were at a fraction of normal levels due to the earthquake and tsunami. Apart from Toyota and Honda, aggregate spending by the rest of the auto industry was flat in Q2.
Second quarter expenditures for personal care products increased 3.8 percent to $1,897.3 million, paced by competition among leading marketers of cosmetics, hair care and skin care products. Media investments within the restaurant category were up 2.1 percent to $1,525.7 million, aided by major repositioning campaigns from Burger King and Wendy’s.
Telecom ad expenditures were down 2.4 percent to $1,990.9 million. Category performance remains divided, with advertising budgets from wireless service providers wilting under the weight of slowing subscriber growth and rising capital investments for upgrading networks while TV service providers continue to raise their media budgets.
Ad spending in the Financial Services category turned sluggish during Q2, falling 3.4 percent to $1,921.9 million on reductions from credit card issuers and ongoing weakness within the consumer banking segment.
After an extended run-up that began during the 2009 recession, expenditures for food and candy are now steadily falling back. Q2 continued the pattern as spending dropped 5.5 percent to $1,538.9 million.
About Kantar Media
Kantar Media provides strategic advice and competitive intelligence to the world’s leading brands, publishers, agencies and industry bodies, helping them navigate and succeed in a rapidly evolving media industry. This includes analysis of paid media opportunities; counsel on brand reputation, corporate management and consumer engagement through owned media; and, evaluating consumers’ reactions in earned media. Kantar Media provides clients with a broad range of insights from audience research, competitive intelligence, vital consumer behavior and digital insights, to marketing effectiveness and online influence.