Kantar Media says U.S. advertising gained 0.7% in 2014.
Four of the largest U.S. advertisers spent fewer dollars than the year before. Procter & Gamble was down 14.4% to $2.64 billion, General Motors was off 8.2% to $1.65 billion, AT&T was 12.7% lower to $1.63 billion, and Comcast Corp. slipped 5.9% to $1.55 billion.
Overall, the top 10 U.S. advertisers lowered spending by 4.2%.
However, Kantar Media says midsize companies -- ranked 100 through 1001, which have a much bigger share of spending at 34% -- continue to showed gains, as they have over the last four years. Midsize companies were up 4.6% over the percentage a year before.
The best-performing advertising category in 2014 was insurance -- health, auto, or otherwise -- up 7.8% to $5.86 billion. Next was local services, improving 4.7% to $9.6 billion, and helped by providers who connected to health care and housing markets.
Two of the biggest categories dropped: Retail was down 2.1% to $15.8 billion, while automotive sank 6.8% to $14.2 billion.
Spending on cable TV was up 6.8%. Kantar notes that over the last four years, the average cable network has added 12% more commercial inventory.
Broadcast TV network spending improved 2.5%, with about 80% of the gain coming from the Winter Olympics. Spot TV grew due to political advertising, up 5.5%. Spanish-language TV was up 14.7%, largely thanks to the World Cup. Syndication advertising added on 0.6%.
Magazine spending was down 5.1%, newspapers trimmed 10%, and radio lost 3.9%. Outdoor edged down 0.2%, and Internet display advertising inched up 0.9%.
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It would be helpful if this article included a summary of the companies' sales during this same time period and their sales and media investments over last 3 years. Is Hispanic media planning that cuts or doesn't include print and Web sites of Hispanic newspapers and is so heavily focused in Hispanic TV and not focused that much on Hispanic media really working to druve sales. Is cutting the total media investment in favor of questionable digital driving sales or saving them enough as a cost-cutting initiative to justify it as a successful strategy? Why are their ad agencies making more money than they are?