2021's Big Spenders: Sports Betting, Travel And Pre-Crash Crypto.


Among the advertising categories driving the industry's rebound in 2021 are sports bettors such as Caesars Entertainment and travel-based businesses such as Expedia Group, according to Ad Age's Leading National Advertisers 2022 report of who spent – and who cut – the most during the year.


While the list of advertisers with the largest U.S. ad spending increases is led by cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase Global, which boosted its spend 1,085% - from $30 million in 2020 to $353 million in 2021 – its fate, along with that of other such businesses, has gone in reverse since, with Coinbase having cut 18% of its workforce or about 1,100 jobs earlier this month. “We appear to be entering a recession after a 10+-year economic boom,” Coinbase Global CEO Brian Armstrong said in a blog post. “Managing our costs is critical in down markets.”


Just below Coinbase on the list of 2021's biggest ad spenders are Caesars (up 709% from 2020, to $518 million), sports bettor MGM Resorts International (+317%, $463 million), fitness products business iFit Health & Fitness (+219%, $319 million) and Expedia (+155%, $2.1 billion). Filling out the top 10 is a third sports bettor, FanDuel parent Flutter Entertainment, travel's Royal Caribbean Group, prescription drugs provider Horizon Therapeutics and two luxury goods businesses, Compagnie Financière Richemont (parent of Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels) and Chanel.


Leading those marketers among Ad Age's 200 Leading National Advertisers with the sharpest U.S. ad spending decreases in 2021 are insurance company United Services Automobile Association (USAA) (down 44%, to $283 million) and retailer ContextLogic, parent of e-commerce platform Wish (-39%, $331 million). The remainder of this top 10, all with spending off from 11%-15%, includes prescription drugs companies Amgen and Roche Holding AG, and personal care businesses Coty and Kimberly-Clark Corporation.

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