Olympics Boost Spanish-language TV As Kantar Reports Near-Flat U.S. Ad Growth

Tepid overall growth in U.S. advertising expenditures was seen in the second quarter of 2014. Yet Spanish-language television enjoyed a stellar Q2–undoubtedly thanks to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Total advertising expenditures increased 0.7 percent in Q2 2014, to $35.6 billion, according to data released today by Kantar Media. For the six-month period ending June 30, ad spending grew 3.1 percent.

“The slow growth rate of ad spending in Q2 is payback for the surfeit of money in Q1 that was pulled forward to fund Olympics budgets,” said Jon Swallen, Chief Research Officer at Kantar Media North America. “Our analysis shows that Olympics advertisers reduced their year-over-year Q2 spending by more than 4 percent while non-Olympics advertisers posted a 2 percent increase. The latter is more indicative of core ad market performance at the midyear point.”

Among the key takeaways for Hispanic media:

* Spanish -language TV spending was up sharply by 41.5 percent, with a big assist from the first three weeks of the World Cup tournament at the end of June.

* All other forms of Spanish-language media suffered from a shift in dollars due to the Olympics, with Hispanic magazines down 5.9 percent in Q2 2014, versus the same period in 2013. Hispanic newspapers also saw an ad-dollar decline in Q2 2014, experiencing a 4.5 percent dip. Hispanic local radio suffered an 11 percent year-over-year decrease in Q2 2014.

Overall Spending Leader Trims Its Budget

Procter & Gamble easily held onto its position as the largest advertiser in U.S. Hispanic and in the total market, although it lowered spending by 17.4 percent to $1.32 billion. After a small decline in Q1, P&G slashed expenditures by almost one-third during Q2. The latter comparison is against an atypically high volume of year-ago spending. Q2 is also the end of P&G’s fiscal year and ad budgets may have been sacrificed to improve the balance sheet and meet financial targets, Kantar Media reports.


Similarly, automotive spending had been up in Q1 but contracted in Q2. Kantar focused on the positive, showing net gains for 1H 2014: General Motors spent $928.8 million in the six-month period, an increase of 22.6 percent. The company continues to shift its advertising allocation from passenger cars toward SUVs and pickup trucks–big items among Hispanic consumers– in response to market sales trends and the opportunity to earn bigger profits. Toyota Motor raised its ad expenditures 5.5 percent to $599.8 million in 1H 2014; August 2014 sales were strong for Toyota thanks to incentive programs in key markets such as Miami, putting the automaker far ahead of rival Honda for the month. Kantar did not break out the top 10 spenders for Hispanic media.

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