Packaged Goods, Entertainment Accelerate Ad Spending Pace -- P&G Supplants GM

Fueled by a surge in spending by packaged goods and entertainment marketers, the pace of U.S. ad spending picked up throughout 2003, wrapping the year with a healthy growth rate of 5.1 percent in the media measured by Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

2003 Measured Media* Ad Spending Growth (Vs. 2002)


Q1 +1.5%
Q2 +3.6%
Q3 +5.7%
Q4 +7.4%
Full Year +5.1%

Source: Nielsen Monitor-Plus. *12 media: Local magazines, local newspapers, national magazines, syndicated TV, outdoor, spot TV, Spanish-language networks, cable TV, national newspapers, network radio, spot radio, network TV.The data also reveal some surprising shifts among the nation's largest marketers, especially the ascendance of Procter & Gamble Co., which supplanted General Motors Corp. as the nation's largest advertiser.

With an ad spending increase of 25.9 percent, P&G outspent GM by more than half a billion dollars in the 12 major consumer media tracked by Monitor-Plus. The data also show some disconcerting cutbacks by the Big 3 automakers, especially GM, which slashed its 2003 ad budget by 8.3 percent.

The cuts by the majors were severe enough to drive total auto manufacturer ad spending down in 2003, albeit only 0.1 percent. But other key categories more than made up for that slack. In addition to P&G, Altria was another packaged goods marketer to boost its spending (+12.7 percent). But entertainment marketers continue to build as major ad players, particularly Time Warner (+7.8 percent) and Walt Disney Co. (+18.1 percent), which are both now bigger players than two of the Big 3 automakers.

As a category, motion picture ad spending soared 7.6 percent in 2003, though homevideo, DVD and other entertainment products are also rising rapidly.

The Billionaires Club: Advertising's Top 10


-----Ad $----- Vs. '02
Procter & Gamble $2.807 billion +25.9%
General Motors $2.172 billion -8.4%
Time Warner $1.533 billion +7.8%
Walt Disney Co. $1.397 billion +18.1%
DaimlerChrysler $1.344 billion -4.8%
Ford Motor Co. $1.331 billion -5.0%
Johnson & Johnson $1.186 billion +10.9%
Pfizer $1.072 billion +7.0%
Altria $1.059 billion +12.7%
Nissan $1.007 billion +33.9%
Top 10 $14.912 billion +8.2%

Source: Nielsen Monitor-Plus. *12 media: Local magazines, local newspapers, national magazines, syndicated TV, outdoor, spot TV, Spanish-language networks, cable TV, national newspapers, network radio, spot radio, network TV.
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