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It’s All About The Money: Financial Leaders Rally Over National Airwaves.

It’s all about the money. In fourth-quarter 2020, both Bank of America and subsidiary Merrill are decidedly convinced that the radio airwaves complement their own financial goals. The bank and investment brokerage are both top 5 national advertisers for the week of Dec. 7-13, with BoA wearing the crown at No. 1.

With 69,579 spots, Bank of America has increased its presence at national radio by a whopping 23,000 ads over the past month—and 12 times its tally of 5,647 spots for the week of Oct 12-18, according to Media Monitors, which tracks advertising in 110 markets. Merrill (previously Merrill Lynch) was nowhere to be found within the top 100 only five weeks ago; it aired 47,948 ads last week.

Insurance providers, meanwhile, continue to lead among categories. For the week ending Dec. 13, there are seven, including three in the top 10: Progressive at 6, GEICO at 7 and State Farm at 8. Joining them are Allstate, Liberty Mutual, USAA and Ambetter. As Inside Radio has previously reported, the column was No. 1 in both first and second quarters.

But there is no more dominant force than Procter & Gamble, which places a staggering 11 products in the Media Monitors roster: Vicks, Olay, Charmin, Oral-B, Bounty, Swiffer, Always Discreet, Microban, Mr. Clean, Tide and P&G Safeguard. Altogether, for the week, those advertisers placed nearly 132,500 spots on national radio.

Despite their dominance, perhaps the real story of the week focuses on those who are not within the top reaches of the tally during this peak week in the holiday season. Whereas JCPenney, Macy’s and Kohl’s typically were mainstays in the top 10 a year ago—in fact, maintaining such presence year-round—the trio of struggling department stores are more humble this December. JCP is 13, Macy’s is 22 and Kohl’s is 28… not particularly awe-inspiring two weeks before Christmas. Further down is Macy’s Backstage (No. 78), Target (No. 88) and TJ Maxx (No. 95). Walmart, meanwhile, is MIA. Among other retailers vying for consumer dollars: Diamonds Direct (23), Walgreens (31), ULTA Beauty (33), Old Navy (50), PajamaGram (86) and Boot Barn (99).

For Dec. 7-13, 2020, the top 10 on the Media Monitors compilation are Bank of America at 1, Bristol Myers Squibb-Pfizer at 2 (last week’s No. 1), iHeartRadio at 3, Merrill at 4, The Home Depot at 5, Progressive at 6, GEICO at 7, State Farm at 8, Solve Podcast at 9 and Indeed at 10.

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