LAGOS: The telecoms sector is by far the largest spender on advertising in Nigeria, accounting for 17% of total expenditure in 2015 according to a new study.

The annual Mediafacts report from media agency mediaReach OMD put overall adspend for the year at N97.9bn ($509m) – up 5.1% on the previous year – with telecoms coming in at N16.7bn, This Day reported.

Nearly all of that came from just four companies, led by MTN which spent N4.7bn; it was followed by Airtel (N4.1bn), Etisalat (N3.7bn and Globacom (N3.7bn).

The only other brands or companies spending on a similar level were local beer company Nigerian Breweries (N3.7bn), and international FMCG firms Reckitt Benckiser Nigeria (N2.7bn) and Procter & Gamble (N2.1bn).

Altogether, 20 advertisers contributed 64% of total spending, the report noted.

The next biggest spending sector after telecoms was personal paid, which at N12.2bn made up 12.5% of the total. Then came corporate communications (N6.3bn, 6.4%), banking and finance (N5.8bn, 5.9%) and beer (N4.6bn, 4.7%).

Other commercial sectors breaking the N2bn mark included soft drinks (N2.8bn), cable TV (N2.5bn), milk and dairy (N2.2bn) and broadcast (N2.2bn).

In terms of media allocation, television took the lion's share of expenditure, as the N39bn it attracted – up 12.7% on 2014 – made up almost 40% of the total.

At N23.7bn, print took 24% of expenditure, just ahead of outdoor on N20.1bn (20.5%); radio spending was N15.1bn (15.4%).

The study did not break out digital spending but PwC/Ovum have previously estimated a figure of $47m for internet adspend in 2015. Internet adspend in Nigeria is expected to rise to $141m by 2019.

Geographically, advertising expenditure in Nigeria is heavily skewed towards Lagos state which attracted over half (54%) of the total. At N53,1bn, spending here was more than four times greater than the next biggest region – North Central (N12.1bn).

South West (N10.2bn) and South South (N10b) recorded similar figures but spending in the North East was miniscule, a consequence of the Boko Haram insurgency there.

Data sourced from This Day; additional content by Warc staff