Revenue of the U.S. advertising industry 2004-2017

According to U.S. Census data, the advertising and public relations industry saw steady revenues in both 2016 and 2017. At approximately 104 billion U.S. dollars, the industry reached a record high in this period. The significant drops in earnings in 2004 and 2009 can be tied to the general economic situation in the country at that time.

The advertising industry in the United States

The entire advertising and public relations sector in the U.S. reportedly spent around 72 billion U.S dollars in 20171. The industry, which is part of the NAICS structure under the code 5418, consists of smaller segments such as advertising agencies, PR agencies, media buying agencies, media representatives, outdoor advertising, direct mail advertising and advertising material distribution, with additional unclassified establishments falling under other related services. In 2016, Census results indicated that there were close to 38.3 thousand businesses categorized under this industry description, with the majority operating within advertising agency sector. Given their sheer numbers it comes as no surprise that the advertising agencies perform better in terms of payroll compared to other sub-sectors. Public relations agencies ranked second, with a combined payroll amounting to 5.6 billion U.S dollars in the 2016 Census.
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Estimated aggregate revenue of the U.S. advertising, public relations, and related service industry from 2004 to 2017
(in billion U.S. dollars)
Estimated revenue in billion U.S. dollars
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