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Advertising in Europe - statistics & facts

Advertising is a multi-billion-dollar industry that continues to expand in size and influence each year. In 2021, global ad revenue reached an estimated 763 billion U.S. dollars, marking a boost of more than 22 percent compared to the previous year while also outperforming pre-pandemic levels. A swift upswing in spending is also unfolding across Europe, one of the largest advertising markets worldwide. In 2021, European ad spend reached its highest figure to date at over 146 billion U.S. dollars. But even though the industry is flourishing, not all advertising formats will benefit equally from the uplift in investments.

Traditional media advertising is facing trying times

Advertising via traditional media formats has a long history in Europe, with television reigning as the most popular advertising platform for many decades. In Central and Eastern Europe, television drew the largest share of advertising funds up until 2020, but following the onset of the pandemic, digital channels overtook TV as the top ad format for the first time. This shift away from offline to online ad strategies had already been unfolding in Western Europe for several years, driven by the area’s comparatively high internet penetration rates. In 2021, spending on TV, radio, print media, and other traditional ad formats accounted for less than 45 percent of Western European ad spend, while the internet drew the lion’s share of investments.

European advertisers are jumping on the digital bandwagon

Digital media continues to transform the European advertising scene. In 2020, digital ad spend in Europe almost reached the 70-billion-euro mark, having more than tripled since 2010. This continuous rise in ad investments is even more impressive considering that Europe’s ad industry suffered various setbacks amid the pandemic. Advertisers focus on digital ad formats and channels more vividly than ever, and while consumer behavior and online usage patterns vary significantly across the continent, the digital wave is pushing its way through the region. One country where digital advertising has been embraced for several years is the United Kingdom - the undisputed champion among Europe’s top digital ad spenders.

Who are the top advertisers in Europe?

Europe’s advertising landscape is dominated by major international players. In early 2022, Procter & Gamble was the largest advertising spender in Germany, with investments of over 174 million euros in the first two months of the year. The U.S. consumer goods giant also ranks among the top advertisers in Spain, France, Italy, and the UK. Other prominent ad spenders include Amazon, L’Oréal, and Volkswagen – brands that have topped the global advertising charts for decades and are unlikely to cut down marketing budgets any time soon.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 30 most important statistics relating to "Advertising in Europe".

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