Big Brands Trim Ad Budgets—More Room for PR$$?

Advertisers Trim Budgets—More Room for PR? Half of the biggest advertisers in the U.S. trimmed their budgets during the last quarter, including behemoths like Procter & Gamble, AT&T and Verizon.

According to Kantar Media, Procter & Gamble witnessed a 13.2% slide in the second quarter to $577 million. AT&T claimed second place in Q2 2011, but cut back by 21% to $376m in Q2 2012.

The drop in ad spending could free up budgets for increased communications efforts, known to be a less expensive and effective alternative to advertising.

Other findings include:

  • Verizon logged a 14.7% contraction to $327 million. Time Warner, the media owner, was similarly down by 12.9% to $298 million. News Corp., from the same sector, was also at $298 million, representing a 6.8% decrease in spending.

  • In automotive, General Motors recorded an even larger decline, of 30.1%, to $292 million. Toyota, its rival, posted a 22.7% leap to $285 million.

  • Unilever was up 48.6% to $278 million. It thus replaced Pfizer in the top 10. The pharmaceutical firm slashed its ad spending by 15.9% in Q1 year on year to $301 million, and delivered a further dip in Q2.

  • Retail was up by 0.9% to $3.8 billion, while automotive grew by 7.7% to $3.3 billion. Telecoms lodged a 2.4% decrease to $2 billion and financial services brands were down by 3.4%, coming in at just over $1.9 billion.

  • As a group, the top 10 advertisers registered a 5.5% drop in advertising expenditure, to $3.6 billion. The top 100 marketers, together accounting for 40% of revenues, boosted their outgoings by 1.1%.

Kantar Media

Follow Scott Van Camp: @svancamp01

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About Scott Van Camp

Scott Van Camp is editor of PR News, an executive-level, reader-supported publication that helps enhance the business impact of PR. Scott has a rich background in both journalism and PR/marketing. He has more than 15 years of experience as a writer/editor at various consumer and trade publications. Scott was with VNU Business Publications for five years, including stints as managing editor at IQ News and Technology Marketing magazines and senior editor at Brandweek. In the PR/marketing sphere, he has served as corporate communications manager at MarketBridge, a marketing and sales consultancy, and as editorial director for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. While at the Council, Scott led several high-profile marketing research projects. He has also operated his own communications and media consulting firm, SVC Communications.

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