Sky tops adspend table as major retailers tighten belts

David Beckham: 2016 Sky Sports ad for the Premier League
David Beckham: 2016 Sky Sports ad for the Premier League

Sky was once again the UK's top spending advertiser in 2016, increasing year-on-year spend by 18% to £287m, Nielsen data has revealed.

BT, which has challenged Sky with its BT Sport channel, was the third-biggest spender at £159m, down 2%.

The run-up to the football season saw a marketing blitz by the rivals. Sky promoted its offering with a spot starring David Beckham while BT rolled out co-branded ads with recent acquisition EE highlighting how the mobile network’s customers could have free access to live matches on the go.

Procter & Gamble retained second place in the table with a combined adspend across its health and beauty and household brands of £224m, up 28%. However, Unilever’s adspend was down by almost a quarter.

Supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda and Lidl also reduced spend.

In contrast, Amazon entered the top 20 spenders in 2016 with a leap from £52m to £101m.

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