UK Government poised to be biggest advertiser

LONDON - The government is on track to overtake Procter & Gamble as the UK's biggest-spending advertiser, after the latter cut its adspend by 10%.

DoT campaign
DoT campaign

According to exclusive data from Nielsen Media Research that was commissioned by Marketing, the COI's media spend rose by almost 20% in 2008 to £178.1m.

The increase puts the government within spitting distance of P&G, which narrowly retained the title of the UK's biggest advertiser despite cutting spend to £178.7m.

The figures are likely to spark controversy, particularly in view of the broader market decline of almost 5% as the recession takes its toll on ad budgets.

The COI accepts only its own audited figures, which are published in its annual review each summer, but nonetheless defended its level of adspend.

A spokesman said that, as government policies and initiatives affect everyone in the country, it is vital they are communicated effectively. 'In 2007/8, campaigns tackled important issues such as giving up smoking, army recruitment, road safety and climate change. These are of huge social benefit and help gen-erate overall savings to the public purse,' he said. 

The only media channel not to benefit from the COI's surge in spending was the increasingly beleaguered outdoor advertising industry.

The COI cut its investment in outdoor activity by 8.5%, while P&G cut its investment in the medium by almost 44% year on year.

Other big names also cut their adspend. The budgets of British Airways (-29%), Toyota (-31%) and John Lewis (-32%) were among the other casualties of the recession.

 Marketing's Top 100 UK Advertisers 2009 in full

Market Reports

Get unprecedented new-business intelligence with access to Campaign’s new Advertising Intelligence Market Reports.

Find out more

Enjoying Campaign’s content?

 Get unlimited access to Campaign’s premium content for your whole company with a corporate licence.

Upgrade access

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content