LONDON: The British government, in its myriad manifestations, continues to outspend commercial advertisers, according to preliminary figures for the first ten months of 2008 from Nielsen Media Research.  

Between January and October 2008, COI Communications – the administrative interface between the government and its roster of advertising and marketing agencies – spent some £158 million ($230.98m; €165.95m) of taxpayers' money on a wide array of allegedly non-political public service advertising.

For the ten months the top five spenders are …

  1. COI Communications: £158m (increase on 2007 unstated)
  2. Unilever: £147m (+2.4%)
  3. Procter & Gamble: £144.8m (-10.06%)
  4. BSkyB: £96m (–21%)
  5. Tesco: £77.6m (+24%)
Government (and Unilever) advertising aside, the general slowdown in spending by Britain's largest advertisers could owe more to the plunge in TV ad rates – now at their lowest level since 1992 – than to a reduction in marketing activity.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff