GEICO Leads Insurance Category In Big Ad-Spending Declines

Just weeks after pulling its massive media account from long-time agency Horizon Media, new data reveals that GEICO has become a lot less massive as an insurance category advertiser.

New data released Wednesday by S&P Global Market Intelligence reveals that GEICO slashed its ad spending 38% last year -- to $1.28 billion in 2022 from $2.07 billion in 2021 -- the steepest drop in the category in which all the major brands declined, according to S&P Global Markets analysis:

  • Progressive's property and casualty subsidiaries logged $1.73 billion in advertising expenses in 2022, representing a 7.6% decline from the $1.87 billion it reported in 2021.
  • The Allstate Corp.'s total ad spend fell below $1 billion in 2022, after surpassing that figure during the previous two years. The insurer spent roughly $950 million in advertising during the most recent year, a decrease of 26.9% from the prior year.
  • State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. and its affiliates spent roughly $1.01 billion on advertising in 2022, down from $1.07 billion in 2021 and off the five-year peak of $1.21 billion in 2019.



S&P Global Market Intelligence receives and publishes comprehensive annual insurance data every March. This information is required to be submitted to regulators by insurance companies on or before March 1. 

"The ad spend data is particularly relevant given that it represents one of the primary ways direct to consumer auto insurance companies generate business," S&P spokesperson Katherine Smith tells MediaPost, adding: "Both GEICO and Progressive have highlighted ad spending trends qualitatively in their SEC filings. This data provides quantitative figures."

Smith said the insurance company data become available this time each year, as part of annual industry regulatory compliance requirements.

The timing is significant on Madison Avenue, because just a few weeks ago, GEICO pulled its long-time account from Horizon and consolidated it with IPG Mediabrands, following a review that began last fall.

Horizon had handled significant portions of GEICO's media buys for more than two decades.

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