U.S. advertising spending saw a sizable uptick in 2018, based on final estimates released this week by WPP’s Kantar Media unit. MediaPost reports that spending rose 4.1% to $151.7 billion, up from $145.8 billion in 2017 and the highest total ever tracked by Kantar.
“That is only slightly off the 4.2% expansion in the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” MediaPost reports, adding: “The expansion comes despite a 3.3% erosion in the automotive category — traditionally one of the U.S. ad industry’s largest categories — and relatively modest growth in top categories such as retail (No. 1), telecommunications (No. 3) and pharmaceuticals (No. 9).”
“Thanks to record spending for the 2018 midterm elections, political ad spending surged 93.1% and ranked as the No. 8 category,” the report adds. “Media also became one of the highest-growth ad categories, expanding 27.3% to rank as the tenth-largest ad category in the U.S.”