Total advertising expenditures in the first six months of 2011 increased 3.2 percent from a year ago and finished the period at $71.5 billion, according to data released today by Kantar Media, the leading provider of strategic advertising and marketing information. Spending growth eased slightly during the second quarter and was up 2.8 percent compared to last year.
For the first time, this quarterly report from Kantar Media includes paid search advertising expenditures. Search advertising has been incorporated on a like-for-like basis for 2011 and 2010 time periods.
“Advertising grew at a slower rate in the second quarter, contributing to speculation about the durability of an advertising recovery that is into its second year,” said Jon Swallen, SVP Research at Kantar Media. “Key ad spend indicators are painting a mixed picture. On one hand, a majority of media types actually improved their performance from Q1 to Q2. On the other, spending growth for the Top 100 advertisers stalled in Q2 and the ad market became more dependent on the comparatively smaller budgets of mid-sized advertisers as the main source of growth.”
Measured Ad Spending By Media
Internet media accounted for more than one-half of the dollar gain in total ad expenditures during the first six months of the year. Display spending jumped 12.9 percent and search investments rose 8.6 percent as each benefitted from a surge of money from the travel, local service and insurance categories.
Within the television sector, expenditures on cable networks increased 11.8 percent during the first half of the year while network TV spending fell 7.6 percent. One factor shaping these results was the shift of BCS college football bowl games and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament programming from broadcast networks to cable, producing a large, one-time transfer of ad dollars. Supplementing this was a reallocation of TV budgets from network to cable within the prescription drug, financial service and consumer package goods categories.
Syndication TV expenditures surged 18.5 percent, reflecting more hours of monitored programming and larger budgets from auto insurers and consumer package goods marketers. Spanish Language TV had a 1.7 percent increase in first-half spending as declines from bellwether telecom advertisers were offset by expanded budgets from a few financial service providers. Outlays on Spot TV fell by 0.9 percent, reflecting weakness from the telecom category and a slowdown in Q2 spending by auto manufacturers.
Outdoor (+11.8 percent) was paced by healthy increases from local service businesses, banks and TV media outlets. Consumer Magazine ad spending pulled back in Q2 and finished the half year period up 4.0 percent. Prescription drug advertising in magazines picked up during the spring months but these gains were neutralized by cutbacks from auto manufacturers.
The pace of spending in Radio media remained soft throughout the first six months of 2011. Local Radio was up 2.4 percent compared to a year ago and National Spot Radio fell by 1.6 percent.
Newspaper media continued to lag the overall market, dragged down by National Newspapers (-4.9 percent) and Spanish Language Newspapers (-5.9 percent). However, the Local Newspaper segment ended its streak of 22 consecutive quarters of spending declines and eked out a 2.5 percent increase in Q2 and a 0.6 percent gain for the half year.
Measured Ad Spending By Advertiser
Spending among the ten largest advertisers in the first six months of 2011 was $8,218.4 million, a 0.5 percent decrease compared to a year ago. Among the Top 100 marketers, a diversified group accounting for more than two-fifths of all measured ad expenditures, budgets rose a miniscule 0.8 percent.
Procter & Gamble maintained its top-ranked position with spending of $1,382.8 million, down 7.8 percent. The company has been shifting budgets into Spanish language media and Internet display at the expense of Consumer Magazines, Network TV and Cable TV.
AT&T was the second largest advertiser for the half year period with expenditures of $1,129.5 million, a decline of 2.6 percent. Since the March 2011 announcement of its agreement to purchase T-Mobile, AT&T ad spending has slowed sharply. At competitor Verizon Communications, first-half ad budgets were $808.7 million, a decrease of 22.5 percent and the biggest percentage decline among the Top Ten marketers.
Whereas four automotive manufacturers landed in the Top Ten for the first quarter, only two accomplished that feat for the half year interval. Chrysler Group hiked ad budgets by 58.7 percent to $621.1 million, the largest rate of increase among the Top Ten. Spending was bolstered by several marketing introductions for new and redesigned models. General Motors reduced its six-month expenditures by 13.3 percent, to $924.6 million. The proportion of GM’s ad budget earmarked towards passenger cars, as opposed to SUVs and pickups trucks, continues to expand and is now at its highest level in more than four years.
L’Oreal investments rose 25.0 percent to $626.3 million. Comcast (+35.1 percent to $884.5 million) and Time Warner (+6.7 percent to $618.2 million) also upped their ad budgets. Results for both companies were driven by their movie studio divisions.
Measured Ad Spending By Category
Expenditures for the ten largest categories grew 4.8 percent in the first half of 2011 to $40,982.7 million.
Automotive was the top category with $6,870.2 million of spending in the six month period, up 9.3 percent. However, after a torrid first quarter auto marketers hit the brakes and Q2 expenditures inched forward by only 0.8 percent. It was a complex environment with Toyota and Honda suffering post-earthquake inventory disruptions; wavering consumer confidence; reduced marketing incentives from manufacturers; and a slowing rate of new vehicle sales across the industry.
The Local Services category had the strongest rate of growth among the Top Ten with a 10.0 percent increase to $4,876.6 million. This performance is consistent with the category’s weighting towards mid-sized advertisers, a segment that has been spending robustly.
Escalating competition among credit card marketers was the catalyst for a 5.6 percent jump in Financial Services expenditures, to $4,647.7 billion. The Travel & Tourism category entered the Top Ten with outlays of $2,927.1 million (+6.0 percent) as marketers launched campaigns targeting the peak spring and summer travel seasons.
After an extended run-up, expenditure growth rates for package goods categories are falling back. Food & Candy was down 1.1 percent to $3,268.7 million. Ad spending for Personal Care Products slowed in Q2 but still finished the half year up 9.9 percent to $3,253.1 million.
Top Spending Advertisers Within Select Media
The top ten TV advertisers spent $5,165.5 million in the medium during the first half of 2011, down 1.7 percent from a year ago. This group accounted for 15.7 percent of total TV expenditures by all advertisers.
The ten largest Internet advertisers invested a total of $1,323.5 million in search and display campaigns, up 24.9 percent versus a year ago. Despite fragmentation on the web, the group accounted for 11.1 percent share of all Internet ad dollars. The three leading wireless telecom providers each made the list along with a pair of financial advertisers.