Lidl and P&G ramp up adspend as big four supermarkets rein it in

P&G and Lidl hugely upped their spend on traditional ads last year, as the biggest rivals in their respective categories mostly docked spend.

According to data from Ebiquity, published by The GrocerLidl overtook Asda as the UK retailer with the biggest traditional media budget, almost doubling its spend. The rest of the big four cut their traditional spend in 2015.

The discounter splashed out £78.3m on TV, radio, cinema, press and outdoor - 89% higher than in 2014, according to Ebiquity's data.  The figures do not include digital.

It it the third year in a row Lidl has ramped up its ad spend, which was just £16m in 2012 - and the strategy seems to be working. It is now the UK’s fastest growing supermarket, with a market share of 4.4%.

This year’s rise just pushed it above Asda, which reduced its spend by 19% to £77.4m.

Asda’s hard-pushed main supermarket rivals each cut their spending too - with Tesco’s total down 18.6% to £64.2m, Sainsbury’s down 7.8% to £55.7m, and Morrisons’ down 34.7% to £44.7m.

Each of the four has struggled with declining sales and market share in the last three years, in the face of fierce competition from Lidl and Aldi.

Cash to splash

But the big four were virtually alone in spending less - the retail sector overall increased its spend 1.9% to £1.79bn, with substantial increases from the likes of McDonald’s, Currys/PC World, Boots and B&Q.

And FMCG brands were even more spend happy. The top 50 bumped up their budgets by 11.8% to £405.4m - that's an additional £48.4m. The next 50 increased theirs even more sharply, up 19.9% (£39.1m) to £235.8m.

The biggest spender in FMCG was P&G, which increased its 2014 advertising spend 14.8% to £127.5m, overtaking Unilever, which was down 3.2% to £118.9m.

In terms of individual brands, the top six spenders - Coca-Cola, Chanel, Vanish, Dettol, Christian Dior and Galaxy - all grew their totals by between 8.4% (Chanel) and 33.7% (Dettol).

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