Procter & Gamble and Unilever have both aggressively pushed for more transparency in the murky digital media landscape in recent years, even threatening to pull back on digital spending unless the system is cleaned up. And now, it seems like the world’s biggest advertisers are putting their money where their mouths are.
Both P&G and Unilever appear to have pulled back on their digital spending, materially reducing their budgets as well as the number of sites they buy on. According to estimates from MediaRadar, a New York-based advertising intelligence company, P&G’s ad spend dropped 41% year-over-year, while Unilever’s dropped 59%.
While P&G ran ads on 1,459 sites between January and May 2016, that number dropped to 978 sites in the same period in 2017-a decline of 33% in sites featuring P&G ads year-over-year. Unilever, on the other hand, advertised on 606 sites between January and May 2016, which fell to 540 sites in 2017, representing an 11% drop in websites featuring Unilever ads. P&G and Unilever do not break down their digital ad spend publicly.
In terms of spend, P&G ran ads on 712 of the same websites between 2016 and 2017, including Yahoo News, BuzzFeed and Reuters, among others. But it reduced spend on 560 of them, according to MediaRadar, a 79% drop in spending from 2016. Unilever ran ads on 268 of the same sites year-over-year, including NBC News, Health and Time. But it reduced the spend by 57% on 155 of those sites.