P&G Slashes Spending, Remains Top U.S. Advertiser In '05

Procter & Gamble slashed its measured media spending 4.6 percent, but still managed to remain America's largest advertising, besting automaker General Motors, according to final 2005 estimates released late Monday by TNS Media Intelligence. P&G held on to its position as the U.S.'s alpha advertiser despite the fact that GM poured on spending, boosting its advertising outlays to 7.1 percent to finish the year at just under $3 billion in spending among the media tracked by TNS.

No. 3 advertiser Time Warner also boosted its ad spending 3.8 percent, and No. 4 Verizon rose 8.5 percent, outpacing the 3.3 percent average rate of growth among the top 10 U.S. advertisers last year. That was marginally better than the 3.0 percent growth for total U.S. ad spending by all advertisers during 2005.

The only other advertiser to demonstrate growth was Sprint Nextel, which boosted spending 2.6 percent.

But some big brands slashed spending, including AT&T, which declined 26.4 percent from 2004. AT&T, however, started 2006 with some heavy spending following its merger with Cingular.



After AT&T, DaimlerChrysler was the next biggest loser, dropping its U.S. ad spending 12.8 percent from 2004. That was consistent with the overall auto category trend. Despite remaining the largest single ad category, domestic auto spending slipped 3.7 percent during 2005, trailing imported auto spending, which was also down 1.9 percent for the year.

With an 8.1 percent rise in spending, the financial services category actually closed in on domestic autos, trailing it just enough to become the third largest ad category in 2005. That nudged out telecommunications.

TNS said total advertising expenditures in 2005 increased 3.0 percent to $143.3 billion. In fact, TNS Senior Vice president Research Jon Swallen said ad demand actually ebbed during the fourth quarter, noting, "The rate of growth in advertising expenditures weakened slightly in the fourth quarter, as consumers and businesses turned a bit more cautious."

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