Sky overtakes P&G as UK's biggest spender as FMCG giant cuts traditional spend

Sky overtook Procter & Gamble as the UK's top spender on traditional advertising in 2017, increasing year-on-year spend by 2.7% to £197.1m, according to Nielsen data.

Sky overtakes P&G as UK's biggest spender as FMCG giant cuts traditional spend

P&G’s spend dropped 1.4% versus 2016 to £196.8m as did BT which retained third place despite a fall of 3.8% to £144.1m.

Nielsen’s figures include the seven major traditional media formats but exclude internet advertising so P&G's cuts to digital ad spending last year would not factor into this report. 

The biggest jump in spending last year was by Tesco (up 71.6% to £89.5m), followed by Samsung (up 44% to £66.6m) had the largest annual increase among the top 100 spenders.

Consequently they became new entrants to the top 10 – jumping 14 and 18 places, respectively – replacing Amazon (down 17%) and furniture retailer DFS (down 14%).

Waitrose, Confused.com and Google completed the top five in terms of the biggest percentage rise in traditional adspend.

The largest fall in spending was by Aldi (down 32% or £22m) and Virgin Media (down 30% or £31m).

Overall, the Top 100 spent 3.5% less on traditional advertising in the UK than in 2016 but still accounted for 60% of spend, while the overall market fell by 2.5% or £258.1m.

"It was quite a chalk and cheese year in terms of how the very biggest advertisers changed their emphasis on traditional advertising," Barney Farmer, Nielsen's UK commercial director, said. "Half spent more, half spent less, with the likes of Tesco and Samsung ramping up spend dramatically, in complete contrast to that of Virgin and Aldi."

The differences are due to many factors including the competitive state of their sector, the changing allocation towards digital but also the wider uncertainty caused by Brexit, he said. 

"Thus, it's hard to pick out an overarching trend other than the advertising dominance of the home media/telecoms providers and household goods manufacturers," Farmer concluded. 

Sky recently engaged MediaCom as its media agency of record across all of Europe after a protracted pitch process. 

The top 100 UK advertisers (traditional media) in 2017, by Nielsen

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