Top 100 b-to-b advertisers cut spending 10.2%

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There were some exceptions. Internet ad spending by the top 100 advertisers increased 10.8%, as more marketers shifted funds online. Syndicated TV rose 20.3%. Spanish-language network TV was up 5.0%, as advertisers looked for new audiences, and ad spending in Hispanic newspapers increased 1.5%.

The No. 1 b-to-b advertiser in 2008 was Verizon Communications, which spent an estimated $357.9 million on b-to-b advertising last year, down 15.3% from its 2007 spending.

One of Verizon's most important business segments is the small-business audience, which represents approximately 1.6 million customers. “We use a variety of paid media tools to reach the small-business segment,” said Bill Kula, director of media relations at Verizon Communications. “In 2008, our small-business-focused group purchased radio, TV and print advertisements.”

For example, Verizon ran a TV spot called “Fingers,” promoting its high-speed Internet service for business; and it ran a TV, print and online campaign promoting its Freedom for Business package. Both campaigns were developed by McCann Erickson New York.

The No. 2 advertiser in 2008 was AT&T, which spent an estimated $328.5 million on b-to-b advertising, down 14.4% from 2007.

“The theme that we described in 2008 remains our platform, in that we are on the journey and on the path of transforming and changing our business; and certainly marketing is very much a part of that,” said Bill Archer, CMO-Business Solutions at AT&T.

Last year, AT&T continued its integrated ad campaign, “The Internet Can't Hide Anymore,” created by BBDO New York and BBDO Atlanta, including TV, print and online.

The campaign was aimed at mobile business professionals and featured veteran news anchor Bill Kurtis in a series of humorous spots, showing how he could use his AT&T Laptop Connect to access business data from remote locations.

AT&T also used online extensively in 2008, including videos promoting its Digital Media Solutions, which ran in banner ads and on YouTube.

IBM Corp., the No. 3 b-to-b advertiser last year, spent approximately $158.9 million on b-to-b advertising, down 11.9% from 2007. In November, in the wake of the financial crash, it introduced a major integrated campaign called “Smarter Planet,” designed to show how IBM is developing products and services to help the planet economically, socially and technically.

The campaign, developed by Ogilvy North America, New York, included TV, print, online, radio, outdoor and social media.

“We made a decision as a company that this is exactly the time for a company like IBM to get in the marketplace,” said Matt Preschern, VP-marketing, demand programs at IBM Corp., noting that the campaign was scheduled to debut right about the time the bottom fell out of the market.

The remaining top 10 b-to-b advertisers last year were Sprint Nextel, Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., General Electric Co., Deutsche Telekom, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and UPS.

Of these, only three increased their ad spending in 2008 over 2007: Microsoft (up 7.0%), GE (up 19.3%) and Deutsche Telekom (up 16.4%).

The report also ranks the top b-to-b Internet advertisers. (Note: TNS this year revised its methodology for measuring Internet advertising and restated its Internet figures for 2008 and 2007).

Monster Worldwide was the No. 1 Internet advertiser last year, spending approximately $38.8 million, down 19.5% from 2007. Last year, Monster introduced an integrated campaign, “Your Calling Is Calling,” developed by BBDO New York, that had an extensive online presence, including rich-media banner ads.

The No. 2 Internet advertiser in 2008 was HP, which spent an estimated $34.9, up 14.8% over 2007.

Shooting to the No. 3 position, from No. 32 last year, was UPS, which spent approximately $31.4 million online, up 133.4% over 2007.

UPS ran online ads as part of its “Whiteboard” campaign, developed by the Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., driving users to a redesigned Web site.

Rounding out the top 10 b-to-b Internet advertisers in 2008 were Experian Group, Capital One Financial Corp., Verizon Communications, CareerBuilder, Bank of America Corp., ING Groep and Pythian Group (a database administration company). M

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