The retail industry spent the most on advertising again last year, according to new figures from Kantar Media. At roughly $16.3 billion – up 3% from $15.9 billion in 2011 – the retail sector accounted for more than 11% of total US ad spend (excluding FSI/PSA). Given that Kantar Media only measures display advertising for its online figures, and that the retail industry is the biggest spender in overall online advertising, it’s possible that the Kantar figures actually underestimate retail’s contribution to US advertising.
Behind retail, auto took the second spot with $14.8 billion in ad spend, with its 7% year-over-year growth the most rapid of the top 10 advertising industries. Auto’s ad spend growth slowed as the year went on, though, gaining most in Q1 (23%), and falling to 2% growth in Q4. While manufacturers outspent dealers ($8.9 billion vs. $6 billion), the latter posted the faster growth rate (14% vs. 3%).
Financial services and insurance companies were the only sectors in the top 10 to pull back last year, each cutting spend by 2%. The insurance sector had been due for a slowdown in growth rates, with ad spend ballooning in the past few years, per data from a MarketingCharts report [download page].
All told, the top 10 categories spent $87.5 billion on advertising last year, up 3% from 2011, and accounting for about 5 in 8 dollars spent. (The figures do not include FSI spending, which was about $2 billion.)
In other data, the top 100 advertisers increased their ad spending by 3% (to $60.5 billion). While small advertisers (ranked 1001+) kept spending flat at around $32 billion, mid-size advertisers (ranked 101-1000) boosted spend by about 6%.
The top 10 advertisers reined in spending by about 2%, to $15.3 billion. Procter & Gamble retained its position as the top advertiser, although its advertising spending fell by 5%. Comcast moved into the second position by virtue of its 10% increase, overtaking GM (-7% to $1.6 billion) and AT&T (-14% to $1.6 billion).