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Mike Fletcher 

Nielsen confirms £164 million government ad spend for 2020

Nielsen confirms £164 million government ad spend for 2020

Nielsen has revealed the top ten UK advertisers for 2020 with the Government securing top spot with an ad-spend of almost £164 million.

HM Government increased its advertising spend by 238% compared with the previous year.

In a clear reflection of how the pandemic impacted advertising budgets, Public Health England also made it into the top ten advertiser list, with the highest growth in budget of any organisation, reaching almost eight times the previous year’s spend.

The top ten 2020 ad spenders, in order of estimated spend, is as follows:

Overall, ad spend across the top ten UK advertisers dropped in 2020, seeing an almost 20% fall compared to 2019.

However, half of the advertisers included continued to increase spend this year, with Unilever, Tesco and L’Oréal all able to maintain or increase their budgets.

On the other hand, McDonalds is estimated to have reduced ad spend the most in 2020 (by more than 40%), reflecting how stay at home orders impacted the fast food giant.

“The last year has been one of huge uncertainty for advertisers and they have had to think carefully about how to adapt their ad strategies to continue connecting with consumers effectively,” commented Barney Farmer, UK managing director, Nielsen. “As a result, not only have we seen the UK Government increase advertising significantly to ensure vital public health messaging, we’ve also seen the biggest players in the advertising space hone in on data and insights available to them to ensure ad spend is as effective as possible.”

“As we work through 2021 we can expect further changes to behaviour and it is vital all advertisers, big and small, rely on up-to-the-minute, accurate data to inform their media buying decisions. While we have seen spend movement across media channels,  we have also seen variety in how brands are targeting consumers based on their own specific audience base and needs.”

The data, which includes budget spent on outdoor, press, radio, TV and cinema advertising, has been collated by Nielsen’s Ad Intel.

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