Traditional Media Ad Spend Dynamics In First Quarter

According to data from Kantar Media, total traditional advertising expenditures in the first quarter of 2013 declined 0.1% from a year ago and finished the period at $30.2 billion. 

Change in Measured Ad Spend (Q1 2013; % Change Y-O-Y)


% Change vs. Q1, 2012













Source: Kantar Media, June 2013

Jon Swallen, Chief Research Officer at Kantar Media North America, notes that “… a lackluster start for 2013, with flat year-over-year results… data from the early second quarter are mixed…  marketers… cautious and conservative with ad budgets… bright spots… healthy growth for Hispanic media and Outdoor… “

  • Television media is mixed… Cable TV expenditures rose 5.2%, aided by stronger demand from restaurants and auto manufacturers. Spanish Language TV spending increased 13.5%, its seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, though lower than the 15% annual growth rate in 2012, says the report. The Spanish Language segment is driven by gains among national broadcast networks.
  • Network TV spending was down 5.2% as weaker prime time ratings contributed. Comparisons were hurt by a calendar shift that moved ad money for NCAA Final Four games out of Q1 and into April. Apart from this, sports programming produced ad revenue gains for broadcast networks.
  • Spot TV expenditures were down 2.4%. Spending in Syndication TV declined 1.1%.
  • Among print media, Consumer Magazines benefitted from higher spending by leading CPG advertisers and saw total expenditures increase 1.8% in the first quarter. Sunday Magazines were down 3.7%, due mainly to cutbacks from prescription drug marketers. Local Newspaper ad spending fell 3.3% and National Newspapers decreased 9.2%, each hurt by substantial reductions from the financial services and motion picture categories.
  • Outdoor advertising investments rose 4.3%, the eleventh consecutive quarter of year-over-year increases. Higher spending from Local Services, Retail and Restaurants were a prime catalyst.

Spending among the ten largest advertisers in the opening quarter of 2013 was $3,735.0 million, a 5.7% increase compared to a year ago. Among the Top 100 marketers, a diversified group accounting for roughly two-fifths of all measured ad expenditures, budgets climbed 0.5%.

  • Procter & Gamble was the top-ranked advertiser with spending of $722.5 million, up 9.1%. The only other CPG company in the Top Ten rankings was L’Oreal, which spent $394.6 million on media advertising in the period, up 25.2%.
  • AT&T expenditures rose 27.5%, to $463.5 million, the largest rate of increase among Top Ten marketers, directing more money to local media, supporting an ongoing market expansion of its U-Verse broadband and video service. In contrast, ad spending at Verizon Communications fell 4.0% to $295.9 million.
  • The largest decline among the Top Ten was posted by Comcast, which reduced expenditures by 17.5% to $331.2 million, concentrated in its movie studios, which had fewer major releases compared to the prior year. 
  • Two automotive advertisers landed in the Top Ten.  Spending by Ford Motor rose 12.9% to $280.3 million, propelled by big marketing launches for redesigned models. General Motors trimmed its spending by 2.6% to $362.9 million. 

The Top Ten advertisers are a fraction of all spending and are an incomplete indicator of broader trends. Ranking and grouping companies into tiers provides deeper insights into how different segments of advertisers are behaving and where growth is occurring.

  • For the Top 100 advertisers, first quarter expenditures increased just 0.5% and barely out-performed the overall average. Growth was strongest at mid-size marketers outside the Top 100. Among companies ranked 101-250, spending increased 6.3% and accounted for about a 16% share of the total marketplace. Right behind, companies ranked 251-1,000 saw an increase of 4.6%. 
  • Small advertisers, defined as those beyond the Top 1,000, lagged the market with aggregate expenditures declining 9.2% in the period. This tier accounted for about one-fifth of total ad spending. Historically, media spending within this segment has been most variable and sensitive to the economic climate.

Expenditures for the ten largest categories grew 1.3% in the first quarter of 2013 to $19,591.5 million.

  • Automotive was the top category with $3,351.8 million of spending, down 0.5%. Manufacturer budgets fell 3.3% with fewer marketing launches in 2013. Dealer spending remained active with a gain of 3.7% in a strong retail sales climate.
  • Retail was the second largest category by dollar volume with media expenditures of $3,168.6 million, up 0.5%. Expanded campaigns from Target, Walmart and Sears lifted total spending by department stores. Less favorable weather conditions, though, compared to a year ago forced home improvement retailers to defer ad spending that had been planned for late Q1.
  • Telecom posted the largest growth rate among the Top Ten categories, a 10.1% increase to $2,066.5 million. Aggressive spending hikes from AT&T, Sprint, Nextel and Samsung accounted for a majority of the growth while aggregated spending from TV service providers eased slightly. 
  • Expenditures for Personal Care Products increased 9.0% to $1,583.7 million as competition among leading cosmetic and hair care brands continues to drive the category.
  • Spending by Restaurants was up 8.0% to $1,621.9 million in the period.  With industry sales and customer traffic turning sluggish, many leading brands tactically increased ad budgets in response.
  • Financial Services advertising remained soft during the quarter and declined 4.2% to $1,679.3 million. Broad reductions among credit card issuers, retail banks and retirement planning services outweighed higher spending from tax preparation firms.
  • Expenditures from the Direct Response category fell 11.0% to $1,368.6 million, principally due to reduced clearances on cable TV networks.

For more from Kantar Media, please visit here.



Next story loading loading..