Media outlets hit as ad spend drops by Sh22bn - Beaking Kenya News

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Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Media outlets hit as ad spend drops by Sh22bn


Covid-19 led to reduced marketing leading to a 30 percent drop in advertising expenditure in the first half of 2020 drop 30 per cent compared to a corresponding period last year.

This, according to a report by the Marketing Society of Kenya  greatly hit the main revenue stream for  media houses.

Total television, radio and print media  advertising expenditure slowed to Sh 52 billion, Sh 22 billion shy of figures recorded during a similar period last year.

The largest drop was witnessed in betting and gambling advertising spend.        

Data from MSK and marketing and media intelligence firm, ReelAnalytics shows spending on marketing activities markedly slowed across all categories in the first half of this year.


The analysis was based on gross rate card, according to the findings released yesterday by MSK chairman Pheodor Mundia and ReelAnalytics Marketing Manager Irene Chelimo.

The two said that thousands of jobs in the industry have been affected as a result of the slowdown.

“The betting and gambling industry is the hardest hit as their contribution to the total advertising spend dropped from 19 per cent to 11 per cent in 2020 due to changes in regulation made by the government,” Chelimo said.

The communication industry was the top spender, accounting for 14 per cent of the total adverts spend followed by the financial sector with 13 per cent.

The social industry, buoyed by the rigorous campaigns by the government and corporates to help sensitise people on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, posted the highest growth in share to account for nine per cent of the total advertising revenues in the period under review.

According to the report, government and private sector players spent Sh52 billion in the first six months of the year to buy advertisement space on radio, television and print media compared to Sh74 billion in a similar period in 2019.

Safaricom retained its spot in the top spender position boosted by diverse campaigns, where it spent Sh6.4 billion.

Lotto was second with a spend of Sh1.9 billion followed by the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, which forked out Sh1.6billion. Glaxo Smithkline and Reckitt Benckiser spent 1.4billion and 1.3billion respectively.

Coronavirus awareness, Safaricom Skiza Tunes, Viusasa, GoK Kazi Kwanza and KCB and MOH Komesha Corona were the top five campaign spenders during the period under review.

Shabiki Jackpot Mbao dropped out of this year’s rankings having featured at position three in the list of top campaigns last year with Sh4.8 billion total spend in advertisement.

Betin Kenya also fell to oblivion from a total advertising spend of Sh1.28 billion in 2019.

The decline in figures recorded in the betting industry has been attributed to the clampdown on betting ads in Kenya.

In 2019, the government introduced new gambling regulations, which included the banning of outdoor and social media advertising.

The Interior Ministry stated that gambling had become a major problem for the young and poor while making the announcement. 

April saw a decline in uptake of outdoor advertising by industries highly influenced by the stay at home directive.

EABL dropped its lead in this channel spend from Sh121 million in 2019 to Sh26 million in 2020.

Safaricom took the lead here, having spent Sh62 million followed by Coca-cola with Sh58 million.

The leading campaigns on outdoor advertising were Coca-Cola Taste the Feeling, Hass Consult, Safaricom for You and NCBA rebrand respectively. 

Besides advertising spends, below the line marketing activities which includes on-ground activations and events, among other experiential activities are estimated to have lost up to Sh10 billion in the first half of this year, Mundia noted.

He has urged the government to engage the marketing industry every time there is need to review regulations impacting it.

“Advertising remains a critical strategic function in driving business growth, thus can be used as a temperature check for the country’s business performance,” he said.

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