Ad Age has confirmed what we all suspected, that the so-called FANG companies (Facebook, Amazon, Neflix and Google) are increasingly driving advertising, in the US in this case but the same is true around the world surely. Much of the increase comes from TV advertising, which will be a consolation for some.
FANGs spent $8.9bn on US ads last year, up 37 per cent. TV adspend surged by 70 per cent to hit $1.6bn. Amazon (below) is now reckoned to be the US’s third biggest advertiser behind AT&T and Comcast.
Which poses an interesting dilemma for agencies and people in the creative and media industries and elsewhere who are uneasy about the ever-growing power of these Silicon Valley behemoths. Because it’s not just a media matter but a creative one too: these companies (add Apple) are producing most of the best ads too.
The likes of Procter & Gamble and Unilever may be cutting their agency costs (and loudly congratulating themselves for so doing) but the FANGs with the big budgets to shoot what they like where and how they like are the ones dominating the industry.
The big ad holding companies, who once saw themselves, in varying degrees, as rivals to Google et al (remember Martin Sorrell’s “frenemy?”) are now grateful for whatever crumbs fall off the table. As, it seems, are TV companies.