US advertising spending increased 2.6% year-over-year in Q1 to $32.9 billion, rebounding after a 1% decline in Q4, according to June 2012 figures from Kantar Media. Spending among the 10 largest advertisers was $3.92 billion, representing a 5.5% decrease compared to the previous year. Procter & Gamble maintained its top-ranked position, though its spending dropped 4.7%. Among other top 10 advertisers, AT&T’s expenditures plummeted 31.6% year-over-year, while News Corp. increased spending by 24.9%.
Expenditures for the 10 largest categories grew 3.1% in Q1, to about $20.73 billion. Automotive was the top category with $3.53 billion of spending, up 6.3% from 2010. Retail was the next-largest, with expenditures of $3.37 billion, up 8.6% from a year earlier. Financial services registered the largest increase among the top 10 categories, of 10.1%.
TV Posts Largest Gains
All forms of TV showed spending gains in Q1 2012, with total TV media expenditures up 7.6% for the period. Spending on cable networks rose 7.4% during Q1, while network TV was close behind with 7% growth – both gains largely owing to spending for sporting events.
Meanwhile, ad spending in Spanish Language Television jumped 20.7% during Q1, while syndication TV was up 15.7%, on the back of increased programming and audience ratings. Spot TV also gained ground, rising 2.5% due to political advertising and the Olympics.
The top 10 network TV advertisers, led by AT&T ($179.1 million), spent $1.28 billion on the medium during Q1, up 4.4% from a year ago. The top 10 cable TV advertisers, led by Procter & Gamble ($162.3 million), spent $861.5 million on the medium during the quarter, a 1.8% increase.
Print Media Continue Slide
Further data from the Kantar Media report indicates that print media spending continues to fall, with newspapers and magazines experiencing declines of 4.3% and 3.8%, respectively. Within magazine media, Sunday magazines saw the largest drop in spend, at 4.6%, while consumer magazines also posted a decrease, of 4.2%. Within newspaper media, national newspapers (-7.7%) experienced the largest fall, followed by local newspapers (-3.9%).
The Hispanic market provided a bright spot, though: spending on Spanish language magazines surged 26.5%, while expenditures on Spanish language newspapers also posted healthy 4.7% growth. More information on US advertising spending targeted towards Hispanic audiences can be found here.
Other Media Show Growth; Display Ad Spend Slows
Outdoor advertising expenditures increased 4.6% in Q1, marking the 8th consecutive quarter of year-over-year increases, per Kantar Media’s report. This result aligns closely with recent figures from the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), which reported 4.5% growth for the quarter.
Radio also posted an increase in Q1, though more modest, at just 0.8%. This figure also aligns relatively closely with May results from the Radio Advertising Bureau, showing 1% growth in Q1. According to Kantar Media’s figures, radio’s gain was due to a 22.9% rise in network radio investments, which offset a 3.5% decline in national spot radio spending and a 1.9% fall in local radio expenditures.
Free standing inserts (FSIs) achieved solid growth in Q1, with spend rising 3%, as it did in Q4 2011.
Meanwhile, spending on online display ads dropped 4.1% for the quarter, which the report attributes to fewer display ads appearing on the average web page, despite a rise in CPMs. The figure is based on 2,811 websites that Kantar Media measured for at least a full year.
Q4 figures from Kantar Media, along with 2012 forecasts by media type, can be found here.