Ad Spending Surpasses Pre-Recession Numbers of $109B

By Shawn Paul Wood 

ad on a budget

When the recession hit America with a huge thud, big business began to reconsider its residual income and closed up the budgets. Of course this hurt advertising agencies in a big way and many experts thought they would never recover, but this article from AdAge seems to contradict the naysayers once and for all.

Total spending among the 100 Leading National Advertisers (LNA) reached a record $108.6 billion in 2013, passing the previous spending peak set in pre-recession 2007.


Quick, call your clients…

100 leading advertisersThe spending, for the most part, has not been frivolous. It’s been a gradual burn, which shows thoughtfulness in budgeting but still no fear of throwing money down: spending increased 4.4% last year and an average of 4.0% over the past three years.

These blue-chip marketers account for an outsize portion of advertising growth. Overall U.S. ad spending last year edged up just 2.7% and is on track to grow 4.6% in 2014, according to the average of the most recent forecasts from WPP’s GroupM, Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Magna Global and Publicis Groupe’s ZenithOptimedia. Overall U.S. ad spending won’t break its 2007 record until 2015, according to ZenithOptimedia’s June 2014 forecast.

The brands contributing to this increase make for a diverse list including everyone from Netflix to UPS, Chanel and even RadioShack. Total U.S. spending for the second 100 rose just 1.4% to $40.6 billion in 2013 — big bucks, but less than the combined spending of the 17 biggest advertisers.

Here are some other impressive numbers:

  • (42.2%) of all U.S. measured-media spending in 2013
  • Measured spending for the top 100 rose 3.2% in 2013, outpacing the sluggish 0.9% increase for overall U.S. measured-media spending
  • Measured media accounted for the rest of the pie — a 4.3% slice for internet display advertising and 50.2% for traditional media (TV, radio, print, outdoor)
  • Two-thirds — 68 — of the 100 LNA boosted total spending last year; 32 reduced ad outlays

The question, though: what does this look like on the ground level?