Advertising Industry Loses Ksh 22 Billion During the Pandemic
Kevin Namunwa  |  Oct 7, 2020

A report released by the Marketing Society of Kenya, in conjunction with Reelanalytics shows a dip in advertising spend in excess of Ksh 22 Billion.

This decline is attributed to the negative effects of coronavirus pandemic and containment measures introduced by the state.

COVID-19 led to reduced marketing, resulting in a 30% drop in advertising expenditure in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

The Marketing Society of Kenya report indicates that media houses have been the worst hit.

Total television, radio and print media advertising expenditure slowed to Ksh 52 Billion, Sh 22 billion less than what was posted in the prior period of 2019.

The worst-hit was spending by betting and gambling firms.

Data from MSK and marketing and media intelligence firm, ReelAnalytics shows spending on marketing activities was sluggish across all segments in H1, 2020.

Contribution by betting and gambling firms fell by 19% and 11% respectively in H1, 2020 due to tough rules made by the state.

Figures indicate that firms in the communication business were the top spenders at 14% followed by banks with 13%.

The social industry, boosted by huge campaigns by the state and private companies to alert the public about the pandemic, recorded the highest growth at 9% of total advertising revenues in H1, 2020.

Government and private sector players spent KSh52 Billion in H1,2020, to book space and airtime on electronic and print media. This is less than KSh 74 Billion spent in 2019.

Mobile operator Safaricom remained the top spender, splashing KSh 6.4 Billion on its diverse campaigns.

Lotto was second biggest spender with a KSh1.9 billion budget followed by the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, which spent KSh1.6billion. Glaxo SmithKline spent KSh 1.4 Billion while Reckitt Benckiser spent KSh 1.3 Billion.

The list of top spenders included coronavirus awareness campaigns, Safaricom Skiza Tunes, Viusasa, GoK Kazi Kwanza and KCB and MOH Komesha Corona.

Worst performers included Shabiki Jackpot Mbao, which was not in the rankings in H1, 2020. In the prior period, it spent KSh4.8 billion.

Betin Kenya also went into oblivion after spending KSh 1.28 Billion in H1, 2019. Betting firms have suffered owing to tough rules introduced by the state.

Outdoor advertising also suffered due to stay-at-home measures and directives.

EABL cut its outdoor adverting spend from KSh121 Million in H1 2019 to KSh26 Million in H1 2020.

The top spenders on outdoor billboards were led by Coca-Cola’s Taste the Feeling campaign, Hass Consult, Safaricom for You and NCBA rebranding.

Below the line marketing activities, which includes on-ground activations and events, are estimated to have lost up to KSh10 billion in the first half of this year.