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US Total, Digital Ad Spend See Solid Expansion

AT&T tops L’Oréal, Comcast to become second-place advertiser

For the first half of 2013, Kantar Media estimated that the total US ad spend market rose 2.0%, compared with the same period one year earlier. But Q2 2013 was notable for an even faster rate of increase, at 3.5% over Q2 2012.

TV ad spend expanded even faster than digital display spend in Q2 2013, growing 6.4%, vs. 4.1% for digital display. Big winners among the TV segments included cable TV, which jumped up 10.1% in H1 2013 over that period in 2012, and Spanish-language TV, which grew 9.4%.

For H1 2013, digital display ads saw a 5.3% increase. But this estimate excludes video and mobile ads, two digital formats that are seeing among the biggest bumps in investment, suggesting that total digital spending rose by significantly more than the figure cited for display only.

Retail remained the top spending ad category, but growth in Q2 2013 was minimal compared to a year prior, at only 0.1%. The telecom industry grew fastest, at a 19.5% rate, and restaurants and insurance also grew ad spend by double-digit percentages.

As for which companies were shelling out the most cash for ads, Procter & Gamble was the top spender, putting up $804.8 million in Q2 2013, and it was also No. 2 for growth, increasing outlays over Q2 2012 by 35.3%. Only Pfizer, the No. 10 advertiser, increased spending by a greater 54.0%. AT&T made a significant ad investment in Q2, upping spending by 33.2% to become the No. 2 advertiser in the US, edging out Comcast and L’Oréal. L’Oréal increased spending by a relatively meager 4.6% in Q2 2013 over Q2 2012, and Comcast actually decreased spending and dropped from No. 2 advertiser to No. 4.

eMarketer estimates that total US ad spending will grow 3.6% this year, which is in keeping with Kantar’s estimate of Q2 performance, but ahead of its half-year projections. eMarketer’s inclusion of all digital formats may account for some of this difference in spending estimates. Kantar put total ad spending for the first half of the year at $68.9 billion. eMarketer expects full-year 2013 ad spending to reach $171.0 billion.


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