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U.K. magazine ads for Ford Motor Co. emphasize its Courier's durability. Top 50 advertisers outside the U.S. (chart) Top 10 advertisers by country (chart) TOP GLOBAL MARKETING WORLD'S BIGGEST SPENDERS TIGHTENED PURSESTRINGS IN '93, BUT KOREAN COMPANIES BUCKED THE TREND

By Published on .

Throughout the world, advertisers battened down and put the lid on spending in 1993.

But a minimal hike in its budget kept Procter & Gamble in the lead as the largest advertiser outside the U.S.

In Advertising Age International's annual survey of top advertisers outside the U.S., P&G increased ad spending 1.9% to $1.90 billion from $1.87 billion in 1992.

Although Unilever was the leading advertiser outside the U.S. in last year's ranking, improved and re-stated data show that P&G would have topped the list based on the new information.

The Anglo-Dutch conglomerate came in at No. 2, just $13 million behind P&G. Unilever spent $1.89 billion, up 2% from $1.85 billion in 1992.

Overall the top 50 spent $18.90 billion outside the U.S. in 1993, up only 0.4% over 1992. Spending of the 16 companies based in Asia rose only 2.3%, while the 21 based in Europe, suffering from a lingering recession, cut back 1.7%; the remaining 13, all U.S.-based, stepped up spending only 2.4%.

When U.S. spending is included, P&G and Unilever also top the list, with P&G's total at $4.30 billion, up 6.7% from 1992, and Unilever's at $2.63 billion, up 3.4%.

The once high-rolling Western European market itself proved undependable, particularly for the largest advertisers. Many decreased their spending closest to home and took their business elsewhere-to Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Excluding the U.S., Europe, however, is where the most ad money is being spent. The top 10 advertisers from the 20 countries listed in the European section of the advertisers by country chart (See Page I-14) spent a whopping $11.80 billion, more than double those in Asia ($4.83 billion), and far ahead of those in Latin America ($1.57 billion) and the Middle East ($219.1 million).

The survey of the world's top advertisers showed very little movement at the top, where food, personal care and automobile companies reign as the biggest spenders outside the U.S.

The 2.7% ad spending tumble by No. 3 Nestle, to $1.1 billion outside the U.S., was felt particularly in large Western European markets. The food marketer's spending slipped 16.2% to $237.1 million in France, 23% to $114.7 million in the U.K. and 13.8% to $60.6 million in Italy.

The nine personal care marketers in the top 50 increased their spending an average of only 1.1% to $4.37 billion, and the 14 food marketers built their spending a nominal 1.7% on average to $6.9 billion.

Automobile advertisers, the category with the most number of companies-15-in the top 50, pulled back so much that spending dipped 0.8% on average worldwide to $5.53 billion. The eight electronics marketers also pulled back, 1.9% to $1.40 billion. In other categories-media, restaurants, retail and tobacco-there was only a single company in each.

While No. 5 Volkswagen AG and No. 17 Nissan Motor Co. showed healthy ad spending gains, rivals No. 11 Fiat SpA and No. 12 Renault SA both stumbled from the top 10.

Ad spending in their home markets gave a clear impression of the bigger picture. Volkswagen's spending boomed 46.7% to $280.9 million in Germany. Fiat, however, slid 23.2% to $188.3 million in Italy, and Renault slipped 23.4% to $173.1 million in France.

U.S. automakers No. 7 General Motors Corp. and No. 8 Ford Motor Co., however, remained basically flat although they moved up in the rankings because of the tight budgets of other companies. Ford, in fact, vaulted to No. 8 from No. 11 last year, though its spending increased only 1.1%. GM moved up one notch from No. 8.

The top 50's eight electronics marketers also saw a downturn, decreasing their spending an average of 1.9%. Marketers including No. 25 Philips NV, No. 28 Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and No. 43 Hitachi Ltd. all dropped in their ad spending.

The brightest spot for spending came from South Korea. Three Seoul-headquartered marketers-No. 39 Lotte Group, No. 44 Daewoo Group and No. 45 Lucky Goldstar-two new to the top 50-showed healthy spending hikes.

Daewoo and Lucky Goldstar shot into the top 50 as a result of huge spending hikes. Daewoo increased its non-U.S. worldwide spending an astonishing 44.3%, to $97.3 million, up from No. 58 in 1992. Lucky Goldstar, No. 56 in 1992, also raised its ad spending by 25.9%, to $95.8 million, in 1993.

The South Korean market itself was one of the hottest large markets in the world for ad spending. Lucky Goldstar's spending at home grew 25.9% to $95.7 million, and spending by carmakers Daewoo (up 44.6% to $93.6 million) and smaller rival Kia Motors (up 52.6% to $24.9 million) grew significantly in their home market.

Exceptions to the trends of slowdowns across a region appeared in individual nations in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. In the still low-rolling Middle East, enormous ad spending increases were not uncommon in 1993 although from low bases: In Bahrain, Toyota's spending ballooned 143.9% to $368,000, and Kuwait Airways increased spending in its domestic market by 128.8% to $901,000.

But the far larger Eastern European markets also experienced greater overall growth than most other regions. Unilever in particular stepped up its spending, rocketing 174.9% to $15.2 million in Hungary and 155.2% to $5 million in the Czech Republic, where it nearly reached the $5.5 million mark hit by P&G. P&G's ad spending rose more dramatically in Hungary, up 26.8% to $7.7 million.

Latin America also showed a powerful emergence from recession, as many multinationals' ad spending rose significantly in countries throughout the region. Particularly active were Brazil and Argentina, where many advertisers more than doubled local spending and multinational food and car marketers inflated spending as well. Brazilian General Motors spending grew 87.3% to $48.7 million. Argentine spending by food group Philip Morris Cos. rose 43.5% to $35 million; by Coca-Cola Co., 42.5% to $30 million.

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