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Ad Spending In August Held Steady With Increases In Tech, Telecom and Finance.


Total ad spend during August 2023 reached an estimated $9.4 billion, roughly flat with July’s $9.5 billion, according to advertising intelligence company MediaRadar. April was the only month this year that experienced a month-over-month increase, up a modest 2% from March.


Technology advertisers for software and telecommunication, among others, upped their ad investments in August. Not surprisingly in the midst of dual strikes that brought Hollywood to a virtual standstill, there were decreases in media & entertainment, a top category with 14% of the month’s ad investment.


This MediaRadar index shows the number of companies advertising in August decreased 19% from July. But with investment more or less flat, the takeaway is that those that continue to advertise are spending more.


Drilling down into categories, technology advertisers expanded ad spend by nearly $50 million for a 6% month-to-month increase to $839 million in August. The drivers included software, telecommunication companies, and information technology, MediaRadar says. Software brands such as Adobe and McAfee increased 1% month-to-month to $245 million. Telecoms including Consumer Cellular, T-Mobile, and Verizon jumped over 40% from July to August to nearly $215 million. Information technology brands upped their outlay 13% to $67 million.


Finance advertising was up 5% month-to-month from July to over $747 million. Financial institutions and services accounted for nearly $436 million, making up 58% of the investment by finance advertisers. Capital One, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo contributed to the 9% increase by financial institutions. Additionally, insurance companies like Progressive and State Farm increased 3% month-to-month to over $214 million invested in August.


Beauty ad spending jumped 10% to $365 million, led by increases in skincare, hair care, and cosmetics. Old Spice and companion Old Spice Gentlemen’s Blend Collection contributed to the 6% increase in spending by skincare brands. Pantene Pro-V and Schwarzkopf were among the brands that contributed to a 30% boost in cosmetics spending. Combined, these three top beauty categories were 55% of the beauty category’s August ad investment.


Among the categories that tapped the brakes in August were media & entertainment (-7% month-to-month to $1.3 billion in August), automotive (-17% to $311 million), and travel (-20% to $242 million). Among automakers, SUV advertising was down 37%, imports decreased 4%, and electric vehicles were down 30% from July.

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