These Are America’s 10 Largest Advertisers

July 5, 2016

AdAge-Top-10-US-Advertisers-in-2015-Jul2016America’s 200 largest advertisers increased their total US ad spending in 2015 by 3.6%, accelerating their growth from a more modest 2% gain in 2014, per new data from Ad Age. The report is based on calculations of advertisers’ spending on measured and unmeasured media, with Procter & Gamble (P&G) again topping the list.

P&G led all advertisers with $4.3 billion in ad spending last year, ahead of AT&T ($3.9 billion) and GM ($3.5 billion). However, P&G was the only advertiser of the top 10 to cut spending, reducing their overall tally by 3.8% from the prior year.

By contrast, Amazon cracked the top 10 by virtue of a sizable jump in ad spend. It’s 22.8% year-over-year increase, to $2.2 billion, was comfortably the largest of the top 10. Comcast, with its 13.4% gain, was the only other advertiser of the top 10 with a double-digit increase.

On the topic of spending hikes, those seemingly ubiquitous daily fantasy sports ads came at a price: DraftKings upped its ad spending in 2015 by 567%, to $238 million, with FanDuel sporting the next-fastest growth of the top 200 (of 260%, to $186 million).

Ad Age’s figures are in part based on Kantar Media data concerning measured media spending, covering TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, outdoor and free-standing inserts. Then Ad Age estimated unmeasured spending, which includes internet and mobile media, as well as promotion, experiential marketing and direct marketing.

Not surprisingly, given that measured media consists of traditional advertising channels, and that digital media fall in the “unmeasured” bucket, these two are trending in opposite directions. Specifically, the top 200 advertisers cut spending on measured media by 2.3%, while increasing their unmeasured spending by 9.1%.

One of the more interesting findings concerns the extent to which traditional media spending is – and is not – concentrated among large advertisers. While the 200 largest advertisers accounted for a slight majority (52.6%) of all measured media spending last year, that varied by media channel. As such, the top 200 accounted for:

  • An hefty 80.7% of broadcast network TV advertising;
  • A solid 65.2% of cable TV network advertising; but
  • Less than half (41.4%) of magazine spending; and;
  • Less than one-quarter (23.1%) of newspaper spending.

In other words, TV advertising appears to be highly concentrated among the biggest spenders, while print has a more diversified base of advertisers.

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