How the world’s biggest advertisers are spending (or not)

Digiday 04 May 2020 04:01
May 4, 2020 by Lara O'Reilly

Usually the received wisdom in the marketing industry is that spending on advertising through a recession can make a company stronger when they come out the other side.

But this is a crisis like no other. Entire industries have ground to a halt, while others are thriving. Compare and contrast: Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble — which has seen a lift in sales as people stock up on household items — is upping its marketing spend. Coca-Cola, on the other hand, has drastically slashed its ad budget as out-of-home sales of its products in venues and convenience stores has cratered. 

Digiday analyzed the most-recent earnings updates from the top 10 ad spenders in the world (according to RECMA data from 2018) to see how they are adapting their marketing strategies to the ongoing crisis.

1. Procter & Gamble: Increased spend and plans to keep reminding consumers about the benefits of its brands

The world’s largest consumer goods maker — and the biggest advertiser — is well-positioned during the crisis as people have flocked to supermarkets and online stores to stock up on household staples like Tide and Charmin. The company’s organic sales were up 7% in the first quarter, its best sales growth in a decade. 

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