Facebook is biggest new TV advertiser as total ad spend passes record £5bn

Lynsey Barber
Follow Lynsey
GOP Presidential Candidates Participate In Pre-Debate Forum In Cleveland
Facebook's ventured into TV advertising in 2015 (Source: Getty)

Facebook was the biggest spending new advertiser on British television last year as total spend hit record levels.

Spending on TV advertising - from traditional 30 second spots to sponsorship, on-demand catch up platforms and product placement - hit £5.27bn in 2015, a rise of 7.4 per cent on the previous year and growth not seen since the end of the financial crisis.

Facebook was the biggest new advertiser to make its TV debut, spending £10.8m on its first ever TV ad campaign, according to data from Nielsen and Thinkbox.

Mark Zuckerberg's billion-dollar social network wasn't the only online firm to turn to traditional formats either. Online businesses were found to be the second largest advertisers on TV behind food for the second year in a row, the new figures reveal.

Online businesses spent more than £500m on TV ads in 2015, up 14 per cent on 2014 and more than doubling over the last five years.

Along with Google and Netflix, the three tech companies spent more than 60 per cent of their marketing budgets on TV ads. The figure also includes traditional "bricks and mortar" businesses advertising their online services.

Spending was up across sectors, with motor company spending 18 per cent higher, hitting £318m. Finance was up 17 per cent to £428m while household fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) increased 14 per cent to £199m.

TV ad spending outpaced the overall ad market, which grew at a rate of 6.1 per cent year-on-year, and accounted for more than a quarter of the total ad market.

Figures from the Broadcaster's Audience Research Board (BARB) reveal Procter and Gamble had the most viewed TV ads, followed by Sky, Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser.

“Nothing else has TV’s reach, scale and connection with audiences; no other form of advertising is as trusted. Advertisers of all sizes, from global technology companies to local businesses, know this and have voted with their investment," said Lindsay Clay of Thinkbox, the body which represents TV advertising.

"Online businesses in particular recognise the impact TV advertising has and have significantly increased their investment recently. This is something we expect to continue in 2016,” she added.

Related articles