New York, NY, March 12, 2012 – Total advertising expenditures increased 0.8 percent in 2011 and finished the year at $144.0 billion, according to data released today by Kantar Media, the leading provider of strategic advertising and marketing information. Ad spending during the fourth quarter of 2011 dropped 1.0 percent versus the year ago period, the first quarterly decline since the end of 2009. Since reaching a post-recession peak in Q3 2010, advertising growth rates have slowed sequentially for five consecutive quarters.
“The contrast of resilient TV spending and waning budget allocations to other traditional media was plainly evident at the end of 2011,” said Jon Swallen, SVP Research at Kantar Media Intelligence North America. “Some mature digital media formats were also touched by the year-end tide of reduced spending. Whether this is an isolated occurrence or an early sign of digital dollars moving more quickly towards emerging and unmeasured digital platforms bears watching as 2012 unfolds.”
Measured Ad Spending By Media
Television continued to lead the ad market in the fourth quarter. Network TV expenditures jumped 7.7 percent year-over-year and were helped by strong pricing for football, a baseball World Series that went the maximum seven games and the launch of The X Factor singing competition program. The rate of Cable growth eased during Q4, finishing at +2.4 percent as higher demand from restaurants and retailers was offset by reductions from consumer packaged goods. For the full year, Network TV decreased by 2.0 percent while Cable rose 7.7 percent.
Spanish language TV ad spending surged 19.1 percent in fourth quarter, paced by higher sell-out levels at over-the-air networks. For all of 2011, the segment increased 8.3 percent.
Syndication TV benefitted from higher spending by department stores and health & beauty brands and saw expenditures soar 11.0 percent in Q4. Full year spending advanced by 15.4 percent.
Spot TV expenditures fell 8.7 percent in the fourth quarter but the more significant indicator was that November and December spending were each down, despite easy comparisons against diminished, post-election spending volume of a year ago. Full year Spot TV spending dropped 4.5 percent.
Free Standing Inserts achieved healthy gains in the fourth quarter with spend rising 3.0 percent. Although manufacturers have been distributing fewer FSI coupons, retailer promotion pages have increased significantly and this contributed to the improvement.
Ad expenditures for measured digital media declined in the fourth quarter. Paid Search budgets were 6.4 percent lower versus a year ago with continuing reductions from financial, insurance and local service advertisers. Display investments decreased 5.9 percent in Q4, dragged down by smaller budgets from auto manufacturers, telecom providers and travel companies. For the entire year, Paid Search declined 2.8 percent and Display increased 5.5 percent.
Magazine ad spending eroded at year end. Consumer Magazines declined 5.2 percent in the fourth quarter due to deep cutbacks in auto, food and pharmaceutical advertising. Total year expenditures were level compared to prior year. Outlays in Sunday Magazines fell 9.8 percent in Q4, the sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines, and were down 7.2 percent for all of 2011.
Local Newspaper ad expenditures fell 3.9 percent during the fourth quarter, hurt by the reallocation of retailer advertising budgets to other media channels during the key holiday shopping season. Full year spending was 3.8 percent lower. The losses in Newspaper spending are consistent with reductions in the amount of space sold.
The pace of spending in Radio media also sagged. Local Radio expenditures were down 3.8 percent and National Spot Radio plummeted 13.9 percent in the fourth quarter. The telecom, financial service and automotive categories were prime contributors to these quarterly decreases.
Measured Ad Spending By Advertiser
Spending among the ten largest advertisers in 2011 reached $16,061.6 million, a 2.8 percent decline compared to a year ago. Among the Top 100 marketers, a diversified group that represents over two-fifths of all measured ad expenditures, full year budgets were down 0.2 percent.
For the ninth consecutive year, Procter & Gamble was the top advertiser with spending of $2,949.1 million down 5.4 percent compared to last year. While TV is still the foundation of its advertising media buys, P&G’s 2011 budget allocation saw share gains for magazines at the expense of TV.
AT&T was the second largest advertiser in 2011 with expenditures of $1,924.6 million, a decline of 11.7 percent. Media budgets were severely curtailed during the fourth quarter when the company abandoned its attempted acquisition of T-Mobile, triggering large breakup fees and a huge earnings loss. At Verizon Communications, full year ad spending was $1,636.9 million, a decrease of 11.8 percent. After a string of quarterly budget cuts dating to early 2010, Verizon sharply boosted its spending during the last quarter.
The largest growth rate among the Top Ten marketers was posted by Chrysler, up 36.2 percent to $1,193.0 for the full year. The increase was driven by marketing introductions for several new or redesigned models, coupled with the improved sales climate for new vehicles. In contrast, General Motors lowered its 2011 outlays by 16.1 percent to $1,784.1 million. Q4 media budgets dropped 24.7 percent. As factory support has been trimmed, GM dealers have been bearing a larger share of the overall marketing effort.
L’Oreal investments in 2011 rose 18.1 percent to $1,343.5 million as the company expanded marketing support for the L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline and Garnier brand lines. Comcast (+11.3 percent, to $1,577.2 million) and Time Warner (+5.8 percent, to $1,279.4 million) also posted full year spending gains.
Measured Ad Spending By Category
Expenditures for the ten largest categories grew 3.3 percent in 2011 and reached $81,629.2 million.
Automotive was the leading category in dollar volume and finished 2011 at $13,890.4 million, up 6.3 percent. Category spending growth became increasingly bifurcated during the year with Tier 2 and Tier 3 dealer budgets continuing to expand and Tier 1 manufacturer expenditures flattening.
Miscellaneous Retail, which is comprised of all retail segments except Department Stores and Home Improvement purveyors, was the second largest category with 2011 expenditures of $10,019.5 million, up 4.0 percent. Robust ad spending during the critical year-end holiday season bolstered results.
Insurance registered the largest growth rate among the Top Ten categories with a 13.5 percent gain to $5,519.0 million. Aggressive competition among auto insurers to gain market share continues to drive media budgets higher.
Financial Services totaled $9,059.9 million of spending, a 3.6 percent increase. Growth has been fueled by the credit card segment, offsetting continued weakness in ad budgets for investment products and retail banking.
The Telecom category lost ground as 2011 expenditures fell 5.8 percent to $8,649.0 million. Declines were most pronounced among the leading wireless service advertisers. Aggregates expenditures from TV service providers also slowed.
Top Spending Advertisers Within Select Media
The top ten TV advertisers spent $10,115.4 million in the medium during 2011, down 0.8 percent from a year ago. This group accounted for 14.9 percent of total TV expenditures by all advertisers.
The ten largest Internet advertisers invested a total of $2,360.6 million in paid search and display campaigns, up 10.0 percent versus a year ago. Despite fragmentation on the web, the group accounted for 10.9 percent share of all Internet ad dollars.
The top ten advertisers in Hispanic Media spent $1,403.6 million during 2011, an increase of 29.2 percent. This group accounted for 24.7 percent of all Hispanic Media expenditures, the largest Top Ten share concentration of any medium.
About Kantar Media
Kantar Media provides strategic advice and competitive intelligence to the world’s leading brands, publishers, agencies and industry bodies, helping them navigate and succeed in a rapidly evolving media industry. This includes analysis of paid media opportunities; counsel on brand reputation, corporate management and consumer engagement through owned media; and, evaluating consumers’ reactions in earned media. Kantar Media provides clients with a broad range of insights from audience research, competitive intelligence, vital consumer behavior and digital insights, to marketing effectiveness and online influence. Our experts currently work with 22,000 companies tracking 3 million brands in 50 countries. www.KantarMediaNA.com