MOSCOW: Procter & Gamble and L'Oréal were among the biggest advertisers in Russia last year, at a time when the market was facing considerable challenges during the recession.

Russian advertising expenditure through TV, press, radio and outdoor contracted by 29% in 2009 to 181.1 billion rubles ($6.2bn; €4.6bn; £4.1bn), according to AdIndex.

The company partnered with TNS and ESPAR-Analitic to produce its annual rankings, using a methodology approved by the Russian Association of Communication Agencies.

It found that the 100 largest companies by adspend were responsible for 104.9bn rubles of the total outlay recorded last year, a 58% share in all.

Procter & Gamble, which owns brands like Olay and Gillette, led the standings, on 5.6bn rubles, although this figure was down by more than a quarter on an annual basis.

L'Oréal, the cosmetics specialist, was in second, having heightened its investment by 11.6% year-on-year to 5.3bn rubles.

However, MTS, the telecoms firm climbed from ninth to third after boosting its media budget by 18.5% to 3.6bn rubles in this period.

Elsewhere, Unilever, the FMCG multinational, fell from third to fourth having largely maintained its spending, coming in just 29 million rubles behind MTS.

Wimm-Bill-Dann, a domestic player in the consumer goods industry, made up the top five, having seen its expenses in this area rise by 45%, to 3.5bn rubles.

Henkel, the FMCG company, Mars, the confectionary manufacturer, Nestlé, the food producer, Reckitt Benckiser, the household goods firm, and Megafon, the telecoms provider, closed out the top ten.

The first four members of this group all registered increases in their communications costs – ranging from 22% for Henkel to 7% for Reckitt – while Megafon cut back by 5%.

Overall, 39 of the top 100 advertisers posted improvements last year, peaking with the uptick of 134% delivered by Metro, the retailer, to 349m rubles.

Subaru, by contrast, slashed its expenditure by 83% to 106.5m rubles, tumbling from 61st in the rankings to last position on the list as a result.

Data sourced from AdIndex; additional content by Warc staff