Sky on top as UK’s biggest trad ad spender with £178m

Sky was the UK’s biggest spender on traditional advertising in 2019 according to Nielsen AdIntel data. Procter & Gamble overtook Sky in 2018, but slips back to third place behind McDonald’s.

Total traditional adspend increased by over £55m in 2019 to £1,050,303,836. Sky’s adspend increased by 44.1 per cent from £124m in 2018 to £178.8m in 2019. Sky ran numerous campaigns throughout the year, two of which featured a collaboration with the film The Secret Life of Pets 2 to promote the Broadband Buddy parental control system and Wifi Guarantee.

McDonald’s, which ranked third in 2018, increased its adspend by 23.7 per cent to £155.6m securing the second spot ahead of Procter & Gamble. This was spearheaded by McDonald’s advertising pushes around its range of wraps and extended breakfast offerings. Procter & Gamble had the biggest decline of the top spenders, decreasing spend by -26.8 per cent to £137.5m.

Amazon overtook BT (down -20 per cent to £87.3m) to take fourth place, increasing its spend by 29.1 per cent (£88.2m in 2018 to £113.9m in 2019) with campaigns for the Amazon Echo, and promotions of live premiership football coverage and special programming for Amazon Prime members. Unilever maintained its position in seventh place (down -0.8 per cent to £82.1m), while Camelot Group (UK National Lottery) entered the top ten for the first time, as it increased its spend from £53.3m to £68.9m in 2019.

Among supermarkets Tesco remains the biggest spender in traditional advertising (up 8.1 per cent to £80.9m), the eighth biggest UK ad spender. Asda ranked ten, decreasing its ad spend from £68.7m to £65.3m.

Nielsen UK commercial director Barney Farmer says: “Spend on traditional advertising has increased by more £55m over the last year, which shows just how important brands and retailers feel these channels are in helping them to reach their consumers within the trusted media environments that these provide. We can see there has been a slight shift in budgets for the top five biggest ad spenders who have either moved up or down in the rankings over the last year.

“For Procter and Gamble, this has taken less of a priority, whilst Sky and McDonald’s have invested more in these channels as a way to promote their biggest offers widely. Much like last year, this decision does not appear to be consistent across sectors.”

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