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Total advertising expenditures in the first six months of 2010 rose 5.7% from a year ago and finished the period at $63.57 billion, according to data released by Kantar Media.

In addition, ad spending during Q2 2010 was up 5.4% compared to last year.

TV Leads Ad Rebound
Television media led the first half rebound. Spot TV expenditures jumped 25.1%, fueled by what Kantar termed “robust” demand from auto and retail marketers and a cyclical upturn in political advertising. Spanish Language TV spending rose 14.6%, with gains driven by the World Cup event in June 2010.

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Cable TV (+ 8.8%) and Network TV (+7.2%) benefited from selling more ad time and increased spending across a broad range of retail and consumer package goods categories, Kantar said.

Free Standing Inserts (FSIs) posted the second largest growth rate among the major media sectors. Expenditures rose 7.6% as CPG marketers aggressively targeted value-conscious consumers with couponing programs.

Radio, Magazines, Newspapers Have Varying Results
Within the Radio sector, results were divergent. Spending in National Spot Radio increased 16.8%, while Local Radio was up 4.2%, as Kantar analysis indicates telecom and financial service marketers shifted budgets into these segments. Network Radio registered a small decline of 0.4%. All radio types saw growth rates ease slightly during the second quarter.

Consumer Magazine expenditures bottomed out in March 2010, according to Kantar, and the ensuing rebound in page counts helped push half-year spending to a 1.5% increase. Sunday Magazines (+13.1%) drove much of the overall growth, while B2B (-4.2%) and Local (-3.5%) Magazines detracted from it.

National Newspaper spending jumped 7.1%, primarily from gains tracked by Kantar at the Wall Street Journal. However, Local Newspaper spending was down 4.6% compared to last year, and has now suffered declines for 19 consecutive quarters.

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Bigger Advertisers Produce Bigger Gains
Expenditures for the 10 largest advertisers increased 11.5% to $8.35 billion in the first six months of 2010. Among the Top 100 advertisers, a diversified group representing nearly one-half of the measured ad economy, spending was up 9.7% to $29.32 billion.

The long-tail of small advertisers, defined as those outside the Top 1,000 and a segment which accounts for more than one-fifth of all ad expenditures, lagged behind with just a 1.4% gain in their aggregate media investments. Kantar analysis indicates the skewed distribution illustrates the dependency of the current advertising recovery on large advertisers.

P&G Leads all Advertisers
Procter & Gamble easily held onto its position as the largest advertiser and spent $1.5 billion, a 31.1% increase from $1.14 billion a year ago. The company boosted marketing support for nearly all of its largest brands.

AT&T took the second spot in the rankings with expenditures rising 14.1%, from $970.8 million in the first half of 2009 to $1.1 billion in the first half of 2010. Much of the increase was due to a large TV ad buy in February’s Winter Olympics, while the second quarter was characterized by significant advertising reductions for core wireless products.

Rival telephony provider Verizon Communications slashed its half-year budgets by 12.3%, from $1.16 billion to $1.02 billion, the largest percentage decrease in ad spending by any top 10 advertiser. Verizon was still the fourth-largest overall ad spender, with General Motors Corp., whose 45.6% increase from $716.3 million to $1.04 billion was the largest percentage gain in first half ad spending, taking the third spot.

Auto Sector Comes on Strong
The Top 10 included three auto manufacturers, the most from that sector in more than three years. Toyota Motor, seeking to rehabilitate its image after recalling millions of vehicles for safety hazards, raised its ad budgets by 23.3%, from $427.9 million to $527.7 million. Ford Motor, which has recently been gaining market share, accelerated its expenditures by a comparatively modest 12.2%, from $467 million to $524.1 million.

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Largest Categories Spend $36B
Expenditures for the 10 largest advertising categories rose 7.3% in the first six months of 2010 and totaled $36.04 billion.

Automotive was the premier category among the Top 10 on both dollar volume and growth rate, as spending surged 23.4% from $4.9 billion to $6.1 billion amidst an improved environment for vehicle sales. Kantar analysis indicates within the category, manufacturers and dealers had comparable rates of increase.

Telecom was the second-largest category in terms of spending, with half-year expenditures up 2.8% from $4.26 billion to $4.38 billion.
Two categories in the top 10 experienced negative ad spending growth. Number seven Direct Response fell 4.2%, from $3.24 billion to $3.1 billion, and number 10 Travel & Tourism dropped 7.9%, from $2.39 billion to $2.2 billion.

Ad Market Rebounds
The US ad market will rebound with 3% growth this year, according to new estimates from SNL Kagan. Projections in the study “Advertising Forecasts: US Market Trends & Data for All Major Media” indicate the total market is projected to rebound 2.8% to $210.5 billion in 2010, following two consecutive years of declines.

SNL Kagan predicts that the sectors with the strongest growth this year will be mobile, broadcast TV stations and internet, while business publications and newspapers will show the largest declines.

SNL Kagan also forecasts the market will continue to grow, reaching $214.3 billion in 2011 and $275.8 billion by 2019.

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