MEDIA: MEDIA WATCH; seasonal spending

Festive advertising is big business for media owners as advertisers fill pre-Christmas space and airtime with the latest ideas to tempt Christmas shoppers.

Festive advertising is big business for media owners as advertisers fill

pre-Christmas space and airtime with the latest ideas to tempt Christmas

shoppers.



Consumers spend an average of pounds 327 on Christmas presents, so

unsurprisingly, it’s the peak advertising quarter for brands in the

alcohol, fragrance and confectionery markets.



So where is the advertising money going and who’s spending it?

Advertising spend in December last year was pounds 554m, with more than

half of that going on print advertising (ACNielsen; Register-MEAL).



High street retailers dominated the press in the run-up to Christmas,

with Dixons spending pounds 9.1m on print ads last December, WH Smith

pounds 2.9m, Tesco pounds 2.7m, and Comet pounds 2.6m. The only non

retail company in the top five press advertisers was cigarette company

Gallaher, with a spend of pounds 4.1m.



The biggest spender on television was Procter & Gamble (pounds 12.4m).

It was followed by BT (pounds 5.1m) and Kellogg (pounds 4.6m).



International Distillers and Vintners spent pounds 4.4m, but this year

spirits brands are likely to spend more on TV now they’re getting used

to the medium after lifting a self-imposed ban last year.



Radio also sees a boom in advertising revenue in the fourth quarter.

Advertisers spent pounds 78m on radio during the fourth quarter,

compared with pounds 56m in the first quarter.



Dixons was again the top-spending advertiser. In December last year it

spent pounds 750,000 on radio advertising.



The poster industry has a harder time in the fourth quarter, however.

With drinks advertisers pulling their Christmas spend off outdoor and

into TV, poster companies have had to offer favourable deals to tempt

advertisers back onto outdoor.



Heavyweight Christmas campaigns this year include Martini Metz on 3000

sites and Colgate Plax on 4000 48-sheets.



The six-sheet market carries a high proportion of seasonal advertising,

with eight out of nine campaigns linked to Christmas, according to

poster specialists Concord.



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Where the money goes 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Overall spend Dec 95    pounds 554.0m

Press                   pounds 289.5m

Television              pounds 212.8m

Radio                   pounds  27.6m

Outdoor                 pounds  19.0m

Cinema                  pounds   5.2m

Source: ACNielsen; Register-MEAL 

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