Kantar: ad spend up 1.5% in Q1-Q3


Total ad spend for the first nine months this year was up 1.5% from a year ago and finished the period at $104.7 billion, according to Kantar Media data. Spending growth slowed during Q3 and was up 0.4% compared to last year.

Radio spend remained soft but steady. Local radio was up 2.0% in Q3 and rose 2.2% YTD. National Spot Radio fell 2.3% in Q3 and was off 1.9% for the first nine months of the year. Overall, radio was up 1.2% YTD and 1.1% in Q3.

Most forms of television had spending gains in Q3. Spend on cable networks increased 6.5% during Q3 as higher demand from Direct Response advertisers was offset by curtailed spending from auto manufacturers and restaurants. January-September outlays on cable TV rose 9.9%.

Network TV registered its first quarterly gain of the year as Q3 expenditures inched ahead 0.2% on higher budgets from movie studios and consumer package goods marketers. YTD spend was down 5.7%, primarily from the loss of marquee college football and basketball programming that moved to cable networks in Q1.

Ad spending in Spanish Language Television soared 18.0% during Q3 and Syndication TV was up 14.8% in the period. The only TV segment to lose ground was Spot TV, where expenditures sank 5.7% during July-September and were down 2.7% for the nine months. As expected, the 2011 Spot TV trend line is progressively lagging in comparison to last year’s bonanza that was fueled by political advertising money.

Internet display spend jumped 15.8% during Q3 and the gains were broadly distributed across top spending categories. However, measured investments in paid search declined 14.4% in Q3 on continuing reductions from insurance companies, legal services and medical care providers. For the first nine months of 2011, display spending increased 10.1% while paid search fell 2.1%.

Outdoor spend slowed during Q3 but still registered gains of 3.2% for July-September and 8.6% for the nine months. Local service businesses, restaurants and education institutes continued to direct more money into the medium.


Percent Change in Measured Ad Spending1




  • Media Type

 (Sectors and types listed in rank order of spending)

      Jan – Sept

2011 vs. 2010


2011 vs 2010

  TELEVISION MEDIA       2.3%     3.2%  

• Cable TV2

      9.9%     6.5%  

• Network TV




• Spot TV3

      -2.7%     -5.7%  

• Spanish Language TV4

      7.4%     18.0%  

• Syndication – National

      17.2%     14.8%  
  INTERNET MEDIA       2.8%     -2.9%  

• Paid Search5

      -2.1%     -14.4%  

• Display

      10.1%     15.8%  
  MAGAZINE MEDIA6       1.5%     -1.2%  

• Consumer Magazines

      2.2%     -1.4%  

• B-to-B Magazines

      1.1%     0.8%  

• Sunday Magazines

      -6.1%     -2.7%  

• Local Magazines

      -2.4%     -5.5%  

• Spanish Language Magazines

      24.5%     20.1%  
  NEWSPAPER MEDIA7       -3.8%     -3.7%  

• Local Newspapers

      -3.9%     -4.4%  

• National Newspapers

      -3.5%     -0.3%  

• Spanish Language Newspapers

      -1.1%     2.9%  
  RADIO MEDIA       1.2%     1.1%  

• Local Radio 8

      2.2%     2.0%  

• National Spot Radio

      -1.9%     -2.3%  

• Network Radio

      2.1%     2.9%  
  OUTDOOR       8.6%     3.2%  
  FSIs9       -6.4%     -6.4%  
  TOTAL       1.5%     0.4%  

Source: Kantar Media



Figures are based on the Kantar Media Stradegy™ multimedia ad expenditure database across all measured media, including: Network TV (5 networks); Spot TV (125 DMAs); Cable TV (71 networks); Syndication TV; Hispanic Network TV (4 networks); Consumer Magazines (204 publications); Sunday Magazines (8 publications); Local Magazines (29 publications); Hispanic Magazines (16 publications); Business-to-Business Magazines (308 publications); Local Newspapers (110 publications); National Newspapers (3 publications); Hispanic Newspapers (46 publications); Network Radio (5 networks); National Spot Radio (205 markets); Local Radio (32 markets); Internet search (Google search engine); Internet display (2,001 sites monitored at least one year); and Outdoor. Figures do not include public service announcements (PSA) or house advertising



Cable TV figures based on 67 English language networks and do not include any Hispanic cable networks



Spot TV figures based on 658 English language stations and do not include any Hispanic stations



Spanish Language TV includes 4 Hispanic broadcast networks, 4 Hispanic cable network and 71 local Hispanic TV stations



Internet search figures reflect paid activity on Google and are compiled from monthly data on Top 20,000 subdomains



Magazine media includes Publishers Information Bureau (PIB) data and reflect print editions of publications



Newspaper media figures reflect print editions of publications



Local Radio includes expenditures for 32 markets in the U.S.



FSI data represents distribution costs only


Ad spend by advertiser
Spending among the ten largest advertisers in the first nine months of 2011 was $11,826.3 million, a 1.4% decline compared to a year ago. Among the Top 100 marketers, a diversified group accounting for more than two-fifths of all measured ad expenditures, YTD budgets fell 0.3%.

P&G maintained its top slot with spending of $2,127.2 million through September, down 5.6% compared to last year. In Q3, when many leading package goods marketers made deep cuts to their media budgets, P&G’s spend was nearly flat versus a year ago.

AT&T was the second largest advertiser for the nine month period with expenditures of $1,527.1 million, a decline of 3.5%. In the months immediately following the March 2011 announcement of its agreement to purchase T-Mobile, AT&T ad spending slowed sharply. As government approval of the deal became less certain and as T-Mobile preemptively hiked its own media budgets, AT&T began restoring ad spend during the third quarter. For all of Q3, its expenditures were off just 0.7% from a year ago.

At Verizon, YTD spend was $1,177.6 million, a decrease of 18.0% and the largest percentage drop among the Top Ten marketers. Having cut budgets steadily since the beginning of 2010, Verizon spending rates are now being compared against lower levels of a year ago. This largely explains why Verizon expenditures in Q3 were down just 5.4% year-on-year.

The largest growth rate among the Top Ten marketers was posted by Chrysler, up 41.3% to $867.8 million for the first nine months of the year. The increase was driven by marketing introductions for several new or redesigned models. However, the pace of spending slowed during Q3 as these launch programs wound down and July-September expenditures finished 9.2% ahead of last year.

GM pursued a more restrained course and reduced its outlays by 12.2% during the first nine months of 2011, to $1,309.9 million. Q3 media budgets fell 11.1%. The proportion of GM’s ad budget earmarked towards passenger cars, as opposed to SUVs and pickups trucks, is pacing at its highest level in more than four years.


Top Ten Advertisers Of January-September 20111






Jan-Sep 2011

($ Millions)


Jan-Sep 2010

($ Millions)



% Change



% Change

    1     Procter & Gamble Co     $2,127.2     $2,253.8     -5.6%     -0.7%    
    2     AT&T Inc     $1,527.1     $1,581.7     -3.5%     -0.7%    
    3     General Motors Corp     $1,309.9     $1,491.2     -12.2%     -11.1%    
    4     Comcast Corp     $1,279.0     $1,075.8     18.9%     -6.1%    
    5     Verizon Communications     $1,177.6     $1,436.6     -18.0%     -5.4%    
    6     L’Oreal Sa     $948.3     $773.6     22.6%     18.1%    
    7     Time Warner Inc     $893.1     $885.3     0.9%     -10.1%    
    8     Chrysler Group Llc     $867.8     $614.2     41.3%     9.2%    
    9     Pfizer Inc     $849.7     $900.4     -5.6%     -11.9%    
    10     News Corp     $846.6     $987.6     -14.3%     -10.2%    
          TOTAL2     $11,826.3     $12,000.3     -1.4%     -3.3%    

Source: Kantar Media
1. Figures do not include FSI, House Ads or PSA activity
2. The sum of the individual companies can differ from the total shown due to rounding



By category
Expenditures for the ten largest categories grew 3.1% in the first nine months of 2011, to $59,523.6 million. For the July-September quarter, the aggregate increase was 1.8% and quarterly growth rates for seven of the ten categories trailed their year-to-date average, further evidence of the slowdown in ad spending.

Automotive was the top category with $9,908.4 million of spending during the nine month period, up 7.0%. However, the bulk of the gain came early in the year and from April through September automotive budgets have grown just 1%. The March earthquake and tsunami in Japan, coupled with monsoon flooding in Thailand, has had a ripple effect on U.S. auto advertising. These natural disasters disrupted production at Toyota and Honda and led to reduced advertising of their vehicles in the face of inventory shortages. With a tightened industry supply of new vehicles and less competition for sales, other manufacturers seized an opportunity to improve profit margins by scaling back on consumer incentives and reducing media budgets.

Local Services was the second largest category and tallied $7,144.2 million of media spend Q1-Q3. YTD growth was up 7.2% and Q3 surpassed this level with an increase of 7.8%. This performance is consistent with the category’s weighting towards mid-sized advertisers, a segment that has been spending robustly throughout the year.

Category expenditures for Direct Response products advanced more than 10% during the July-September quarter and reached $4,698.5 million for the full nine months, up 3.9% versus a year ago. The Q3 gains suggest lower demand from full-price advertisers for the non-premium and run-of-station inventory which are the staple of DR marketers.

After an extended run-up, expenditure growth rates for consumer package goods categories have been retreating. For the January-September period, Food & Candy was down 2.6% to $4,838.1 million while ad spending for Personal Care Products slowed sharply in Q3 but still finished the nine months up 7.6% to $4,787.3 million.

The Telecom category continues to lose ground. Year-to date spending declined 4.9% to $6,405.1 million and Q3 expenditures tumbled 6.1%. The ongoing weakness within the wireless segment has now taken root among satellite TV operators, previously a reliable source of ad spending growth.


Top Ten Advertising Categories Of January-September 20111





Jan-Sep 2011

($ Millions)


Jan-Sep 2010

($ Millions)



% Change



% Change

    1     Automotive     $9,908.4     $9,262.6     7.0%     2.1%    

•  (Manufacturers)

    ($6,089.3)     ($5,854.8)     (4.0%)     (-3.8%)    

•  (Dealers)

    ($3,819.1)     ($3,407.7)     (12.1%)     (+11.3%)    
    2     Local Services     $7,144.2     $6,665.6     7.2%     7.8%    
    3     Miscellaneous Retail2     $6,746.0     $6,536.0     3.2%     3.0%    
    4     Financial Services     $6,655.7     $6,400.3     4.0%     2.4%    
    5     Telecom     $6,405.1     $6,738.1     -4.9%     -6.1%    
    6     Food & Candy     $4,838.1     $4,967.6     -2.6%     -5.7%    
    7     Personal Care Products     $4,787.3     $4,451.1     7.6%     3.2%    
    8     Direct Response     $4,698.5     $4,523.9     3.9%     10.6%    
    9     Restaurants     $4,381.4     $4,251.1     3.1%     4.4%    
    10     Travel & Tourism     $3,959.0     $3,927.4     0.8%     -4.4%    
          TOTAL3     $59,523.6     $57,723.6     3.1%     1.8%    

Source: Kantar Media
1. Figures do not include FSI or PSA activity
2. Miscellaneous Retail excludes these retail segments: Department Stores, Home Furnishing & Building Supply Stores
3. The sum of the individual categories can differ from the total shown due to rounding



Spending by media
The top ten TV advertisers spent $7,284.5 million in the medium during the first nine months of 2011, up 0.1% from a year ago. This group accounted for 15.0% of total TV expenditures by all advertisers.



Top Ten Television Advertisers Of January-September 20111

    Rank     Company    

Jan-Sept 2011



% Change

vs Year Ago

    1     Procter & Gamble Co     $1,221.1     -6.9%    
    2     AT&T Inc     $1,075.8     -2.7%    
    3     General Mills Inc     $616.1     2.5%    
    4     Verizon Communications Inc     $725.8     -15.0%    
    5     General Motors Corp     $787.0     -6.4%    
    6     Comcast Corp     $685.6     20.5%    
    7     Berkshire Hathaway Inc     $464.8     6.5%