More good news on the advertiser front – at least Procter & Gamble is still spending

Well there isn’t that much good news but we’re trying to save the global economy from itself today.

Here’s a report from the clearly relieved

Procter & Gamble spent more than $9 billion on advertising in fiscal 2011, dramatically increasing its spending from two years ago when a global recession caused it to cut back.

P&G spent $9.3 billion on TV, newspaper, radio, Internet and billboard ads to get its brands in front of an attention-distracted public. It’s $1.8 billion more than it spent in its 2008-2009 year, and $730 million more than a year ago.

The ramped-up spending came as Cincinnati-based P&G pushed new consumer products into the marketplace and into new countries. It was also a year of heavy promotions and coupons as the company fought to win back sales lost to store brands and cheaper competitors as cost-conscious shoppers tightened their purse strings, unemployment remained high and paychecks were stagnant.

P&G’s ad increase also outstripped a nationwide boost in advertising spending in 2010, says ad tracker Kantar Media. U.S. ad spending overall grew 6 percent during 2010, while P&G’s spending grew 8 percent from the year before and 24 percent from two years ago.

Some of that spending flowed to Cincinnati ad agencies, but much of it was directed overseas in countries where P&G sees bigger opportunities for growth.

“We’re increasing our investments in markets where we’re expanding,” chief financial officer Jon Moeller said in a conference call with Wall Street analysts. The big, growing economies of India and Brazil “are clearly two cases where that’s true,” he said.

One of P&G’s most heavily advertised brands, Olay, was expanded to 16 new countries in fiscal 2011, including Brazil and South Korea.

P&G also poured money behind its Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor and blades, expanding the high-end shaver to 20 markets during the year, with more to come. “We have plans to add many more countries this year,” CEO Bob McDonald told investment analysts.

In the United States, P&G’s top-spending brands were Olay, Cover Girl, Gillette, Tide and Crest, says trade publication Advertising Age.

It’s harder to get a handle on what the company spends on ads around the world as media and tracking methods vary country to country. But Ad Age says P&G spent $4.6 billion in the U.S. in calendar 2010, roughly half of its total advertising outlay.

Overseas, it put money behind launches such as a disposable Gillette razor in India and expanding its upscale SK-II skin cream further into China.

Several Cincinnati agencies benefit from the company’s big ad budget, including the downtown office of Possible Worldwide. The agency’s work includes a new website for Bounty paper towels that went live on Wednesday.

“P&G is Possible’s largest global client,” said Jodi Schmidtgoesling, president of Possible’s Cincinnati office.

The agency has also recently created websites and other digital ads for P&G’s Febreze and Vicks brands.

Other Cincinnati agencies with P&G work include Barefoot Proximity, downtown, which publishes P&G’s Home Made Simple web site and Red 212 in Fairfax, which has done commercial video work for ads during P&G’s “Family Movie Night” co-productions with Wal-Mart.

But much of the work goes to agencies on both coasts and overseas. That includes the creative work behind its popular Old Spice “Smell Like a Man” campaign, which was handled by Wieden & Kennedy, an agency based in Portland, Ore.

In the United States, P&G increased spending on Internet advertising by 71 percent in 2010, says Ad Age. It also increased U.S. spending on cable TV networks (28 percent), network TV (11 percent) and magazines (13 percent).

Interesting that WPP’s new Possible Worldwide digital network, handily situated in Cincinnati (among other places) is cashing in.

As for the wider picture we’ll have to wait and see if P&G continues to boost spending, especially in its home US market which still accounts for half the total.

Not quite such good news for’s owner local newspaper giant Gannett (and its rivals) is that newspapers (or posters for that matter) don’t figure on the list of media to have done well from P&G’s largesse.

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