Magazine article Marketing

Is Big Beautiful for TV Buyers?

Magazine article Marketing

Is Big Beautiful for TV Buyers?

Article excerpt

Advertisers are increasingly told that when it comes to media, size really does matter. But just how big are the big media buying points and is big really beautiful?

For this week's Media Watch we have tracked the buying muscle exercised by the big players in the TV marketplace.

Over 55% of the TV airtime market for adult commercial impacts is controlled by the top ten media buying companies. By the time you reach the top 30, almost 87% of the market has been soaked up.

Not surprisingly, the biggest billing media shop, Zenith Media, is also the biggest buyer of TV airtime, accounting for over 12% of the total market.

Unilever and Procter & Gamble slug it out for the next two positions, but there is probably little to choose between their TV spend.

Unilever is Initiative Media's biggest client, and Initiative comes in at number two in our chart.

To put all this in perspective, there are 1000 UK media buying companies recognised by the Independent Television Association.

With such large amounts of TV advertising money being passed through so few hands, it's easy to see why some of the big buying points are accused of being little more than bucket shops. The argument is that they win business by buying media cheaper, using the sum total of all their clients' money to negotiate big volume discounts.

This also means the ITV firms deal with around a dozen media outfits for over half their business. And the ITV companies are beginning to feel the strain.

Who buys biggest?

Top 30 TV agencies 1993 -- adult 30" equivalent impacts

Agency                                              % market share

1 Zenith                                                      12.2
2 Initiative Media                                             9.4
3 Procter & Gamble                                             6.4
4 J. Walter Thompson                                           5.8
5 BMP DDB Needham                                              4.8
6 Media Centre                                                 4.1
7 Ogilvy & Mather                                              3.7
8 TMD Advertising                                              3.2
9 Grey London/Mediacom                                         3.2
10 McCann-Erickson                                             3.0
11 CIA UK                                                      2.8
12 IDK                                                         2.7
13 AMV BBDO                                                    2.5
14 Optimedia                                                   2. … 
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