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Ad Age: World's Top 100 Advertisers Spent $347 Billion In 2022, With U.S. Spend Up 8.7%.

The 100 largest advertisers worldwide spent a record $347 billion in 2022, up a modest 2.3% from 2021, according to Ad Age's just-released annual ranking. The U.S.'s share of that total spend was just over half (50.6%), at $175.7 billion, representing an 8.7% year-over-year increase.

Amazon, the top-ranked advertiser, accounted for 5.9% of the total global spend with $20.6 billion, up 22% from 2021. Including Amazon, at least a half-dozen of Ad Age's top 25 advertisers are significant spenders on radio, with Procter & Gamble ranked fourth, Comcast eighth, and McDonald's, Toyota and Capital One also in that upper tier.

Of Ad Age's top 100 advertisers, 48 increased spending in 2022, 48 decreased, and four held steady. The most notable increases came from two travel businesses – Booking Holdings (including and Priceline), with a 58% rise, and Expedia, up 44% – and financial software company Intuit, jumping 44% in spend from 2021. The sharpest drops, meanwhile, were from Chinese internet services firm Tencent Holdings (-42%), Warner Bros. Discovery (-30%), and Ford Motor Co. (-29%).

“Last year’s ad growth in a way marked a return to normal, matching the 2.3% average spending growth for the 100 biggest advertisers for the five-year period of 2015-2019,” Ad Age's report says. “Spending growth was far below the 22.1% surge for the World’s Largest Advertisers in 2021, when advertising rebounded from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to Ad Age's research, however, 74 of the top 100 advertisers still spent more in 2022 than in pre-pandemic 2019, with global ad spending up in 10 of 14 marketer categories. Of those, retail grew the most, with spend from Ad Age's 16 ranked retailers up 58% in 2022, driven by e-commerce. Automotive, household products, telecommunications and apparel, meantime, showed spending declines, with auto off by 12%.

“Auto marketers have tightened spending vs. the pre-pandemic period as they grapple with supply chain disruptions (resulting in a tight supply of some popular models, and so less incentive to advertise) and the industry’s transition to electric vehicles (where Tesla, notably, has built its brand up to this point with almost no advertising),” the report says.

Retail also led all ad categories with 21.6% of total global spend at $75.1 billion in 2022, up 3.8% from the prior year. Personal care, entertainment and media, automotive, and financial services advertisers accounted for the rest of the top five. Among the biggest spending gainers were travel, ranked 10th and up 41.4%, financial services with a 9.4% lift, and 11th-ranked pharmaceuticals, also up 9.4%. Household products, ranked 14th, saw the largest year-over-year decline, off by 6.7%.

“Global ad spending in dollars for the top 100 increased in nine of 14 marketer categories in 2022,” the report says. “Aggregate spending for three travel-related marketers (Booking Holdings, Expedia Group, Uber Technologies) surged 41%, propelling the travel category to the biggest percentage increase in 2022 as travel continued to recover from 2020’s pandemic lockdown.”

Based on data from 56 of Ad Age's top 100 marketers, 39 of those, or 70%, have increased global spending in year-to-date 2023. Among those are e-commerce venture PDD Holdings, Hyundai, JPMorgan Chase, and Colgate-Palmolive. The report says, “The latest quarterly reports from marketers show higher spending overall, although some companies have pulled back on marketing amid economic and business challenges.”

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