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Restaurant Industry Lost Appetite for Ad Spending in Q3 2013

Sector growth during first nine months of 2013 exceeded gains in overall ad expenditure

Ad spending in the US restaurant industry slowed in Q3 2013, when year-over-year ad investments in the sector dipped by 3.6% to $1.58 billion, according to Kantar Media data released in December 2013 by BurgerBusiness.com. One major reason for the decline compared with the same quarter the previous year? The 2012 Summer Olympics, which gave ad expenditure a major boost in Q3 2012.

As in the restaurant space, total US ad spending also fell in the third quarter of last year, declining 1.9% year over year to total $34 billion. But unlike total ad outlays overall, which Kantar Media said grew just 0.7% in the first nine months of last year, ad investments in the restaurant industry saw a relatively strong gain of 5.5%, which pushed expenditure to more than $4.93 billion.

It’s important to note that Kantar Media’s spending figures for measured media advertising exclude, among other things, internet advertising. As US consumers turn to digital devices more and more, advertisers are increasing investments in online and mobile ads.

Looking specifically at mobile ad spending growth, Millennial Media ranked the restaurant category as one of the top industries worldwide for increases in mobile ad expenditure. Based on campaigns on Millennial Media’s network, the sector’s investments in mobile ads increased 234% year over year in Q3 2013.

November 2013 polling by Adroit Digital confirmed that consumers were recognizing the restaurant industry’s digital efforts. When asked which tablet advertiser categories they were most likely to respond to, the No. 1 response from tablet owners in North America was food/restaurants, cited by 44% of respondents.

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