Sky regains top spot in ranking of UK's biggest advertisers

Pay-TV brand upped spend by more than £50m, while P&G's budget fell by similar amount.

Sky: created Christmas campaign featuring 1980s movie icon ET
Sky: created Christmas campaign featuring 1980s movie icon ET

Sky has returned to the top of the table of the UK’s biggest traditional advertisers in 2019, after it increased spend by 44% (£54.7m) year on year to £178.8m, according to Nielsen data.

Procter & Gamble, which last year nabbed the top spot from Skywhich in turn had stolen it from the FMCG giant the year before – reduced spend by almost the same amount, £50.3m, to £137.5m – equivalent to a 27% drop. It fell to third place behind McDonald’s, which grew its spend 24% to £151.6m. 

Meanwhile, Amazon, which last month was named the world’s biggest advertiser, overtaking P&G, grew its UK spend by 29% to £113.9m, taking fourth place from BT, which dropped spend by 20% to £87.3m.

The top 10 advertisers last year – a list also comprising RB, Unilever, Tesco, Camelot (a newcomer in the top 10) and Asda – increased their advertising spend by 6% to £1.05bn. 

In forecasts in January, Dentsu Aegis Network slightly revised down its estimate for growth in the UK ad market in 2020 to 6%, while the Advertising Association and Warc also slightly lowered their forecast to 5.2%.

There are concerns the coronavirus outbreak could have a detrimental impact on the ad market, however, with ITV last week forecasting a 10% drop in ad revenue in April as a result of the situation.

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