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P&G, GM and AT&T traditional ad spending falls in 2014, according to report

By Minda Smiley | Reporter

March 19, 2015 | 3 min read

Total US ad spending increased by 0.7 per cent in 2014, ending the year at $141bn, according to a report from media and marketing research firm Kantar Media.

While Procter & Gamble was the top advertiser of the year, spending a total of $2.64bn, its spending was down 14.4 per cent from the year prior.

GM cut ad spending by 8.2 per cent in 2014, spending a total of $1.65bn. AT&T decreased expenditures by 12.7 per cent, spending $1.63bn compared to 2013’s $1.87bn.

Spending among the ten biggest advertisers reached $15.3bn in 2014, a 4.2 per cent decrease compared to 2013.

However, the report said that the top ten companies only account for about one-tenth of all spending and rarely serve as a sign of broader trends.

The study does not incorporate mobile and video in its digital spending analysis, only display ads.

2013 vs. 2014 Spending: Top 10 Advertisers of 2014 (Source: Kantar Media):

1. Proctor & Gamble Co.: -14.4 %

2. General Motors Corp.: -8.2%

3. AT&T Inc.: -12.7%

4. Comcast Corp.: -5.9%

5. Berkshire Hathaway Inc.: 13.6%

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6. L’Oreal Sa: -8.3%

7. Pfizer Inc: 23%

8. Verizon Communications Inc.: 4.8%

9. Toyota Motor Corp.: -5.7%

10. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV: -3.1%

Jon Swallen, chief research officer at Kantar Media North America, said: “Although total spending volume slowed in Q4, a majority of the Top 1000 advertisers actually increased their year-over-year spending during the period, a promising sign for the start of 2015.”

In terms of media, cable TV spending rose by 6.8 per cent and network TV spending increased by 2.5 per cent. The television sector received a boost from the Olympics and political elections, according the report.

Online display spending, not including video or mobile ads formats, finished the year at 0.9 per cent.

Outdoor spending posted a 0.2 per cent decrease but was buoyed by the expansion of digital signage. Digital outdoor spending has grown six times faster than the overall medium in the past four years, according to Kantar.

All forms of radio media saw decreases in spending in 2014.


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