According to provisional data released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research, Unilever ousted both Procter & Gamble and COI Communications as the UK's leading advertiser in 2005.

Not only did the foods and household products giant increase its overall media expenditure, 2005 was the first year in which adspend by all Unilever consumer brands were aggregated as a single corporate entity.

Of the twenty big spenders, all but seven increased media expenditure during the twelve months. The exceptions are Procter & Gamble (-15.3%), BT(-23.2%), Reckitt Benckiser (-7.6%), Ford (-15.9%), Renault (-4.4%), Sainsbury's (-6.9%) and O2 (-2%).

The Top 20 ranked by 2005 expenditure are …

  1. Unilever (£213.7m)
  2. Procter & Gamble (£180.4m)
  3. COI Communications (£166.4m)
  4. L'Oreal Golden (£102.8m)
  5. British Sky Broadcasting (£98.3m)
  6. DFS Furniture (£83.5m)
  7. Masterfoods (£78.1m)
  8. Orange (£75.5m)
  9. BT (£73.1m)
  10. Nestlé (£68.5m)
  11. Reckitt Benckiser (£65.2m)
  12. Vauxhall Motors/General Motors (£62.4m)
  13. Ford Motor Company (£62.0m)
  14. Tesco (£61.6m)
  15. Renault UK (£58.5m)
  16. Kellogg Company of GB (£58.4m)
  17. Lloyds TSB (£52.9m)
  18. Sainsburys Supermarkets (£51.7m)
  19. Vodafone (£47,5m)
  20. O2 UK (£46.7m)

    Source: Nielsen Media Research © Tables cannot be republished without prior written permission from Nielsen Media Research.
The data is subject to final revision of December expenditure and covers national and consumer press/magazines, radio, cinema, outdoor, direct mail and the internet.

Data sourced from Nielsen Media Research (UK); additional content by WARC staff