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Retail may be leading the charge in digital advertising spending, but agency holding group data released by Standard Media Index (SMI) suggests that the Telecom industry was the largest spender on the overall national advertising market during the second quarter of the year.

The national advertising market as a whole grew by 5% year-over-year during the quarter, according to SMI’s data, which is sourced directly from the major agency holding groups. That was despite a 1% decline in national TV ad spend, excluding World Cup ad spending.

Each of the top-spending industries increased their national advertising spending for the quarter. In descending order of spend, these industries’ trends shook out as follows:

  • Telecom: +2%;
  • Auto: +10%;
  • Prescription Pharmaceuticals: +17%;
  • Quick Service Restaurants: +23%; and
  • Specialty Retailers: +1%.

Prescription Pharmaceuticals Ups TV Ad Spend

Not only was the Prescription Pharma industry one of the biggest spenders overall this past quarter, but it topped the charts for national TV ad spend. In fact, it hiked its national TV ad spend by a considerable 19% year-over-year during the quarter. The industry increased spending on Entertainment (+25%) and News (+14%), but actually cut its spending on Sports by a significant 28%.

Interestingly enough, while the Prescription Pharma industry continues to be a big spender on national TV, it’s only the 10th-largest spender on digital advertising, per recent eMarketer estimates.

Meanwhile, the other top-spending industries on national TV during the second quarter, in descending order and with spending changes, were:

  • Auto: -12%;
  • Food, Produce & Dairy: -5%;
  • Quick Serve Restaurants: +3%; and
  • Insurance: +9%.

In other highlights from SMI’s report:

  • Digital ad spend grew by 12%, and agency spending on out-of-home also saw solid growth (+9%);
  • Spending on national radio ads was relatively flat (-1%), while print spend continued to plummet (-22%);
  • Revenue from the NBA Finals was down 12% year-over-year due to the series being one game shorter than last year; the per-game revenue of $45.7 million actually represented a 10% year-over-year increase.

About the Data: SMI describes its methodology as follows:

“SMI sources our data from the raw invoices from the media agency holding groups to see the actual dollar amounts spent on each ad buy. We work with 5 of the 7 major media holding groups – making up 70% of the national TV market – and model out the remaining 30% using occurrence data. Market share percentages only include TV networks within our Pool of data.”

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