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Advertising market in France - statistics & facts

The French advertising industry is continuously evolving to meet the demands and expectations of its audience. This commitment was undoubtedly put to the test in 2020 when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic strained advertising budgets and reshuffled consumer behavior. After a significant dip in annual expenditures, advertising spending in France bounced back and surpassed 30 billion euros in 2021. But not all media formats experienced a rapid recovery. The French advertising sector is on a steady digital path, and a closer look at the distribution of advertising spending reveals that digital platforms have recently overtaken linear equivalents. Today, online formats account for over 60 percent of all advertising budgets, making France one of the leading digital ad markets in Europe.

Can offline advertising stand the test of time?

France has pioneered various offline advertising platforms and practices. Some of the most impactful innovations include Jean-Claude Decaux's advances in out-of-home (OOH) advertising in the early 1960s. Roughly six decades later, OOH ad revenue in France amounted to 1.3 billion euros after outdoor ads saw a steep decline in investments due to nationwide lockdowns. Other linear advertising platforms also suffered significant spending cuts in 2020, accelerating a downward trend in demand that had been unfolding for several years already. Two offline formats that continue to withstand the digital shift of the advertising industry are radio and TV. Data shows that revenues from radio ads had been steadily increasing before 2020, reaching some 714 million euros in 2019. Interestingly, TV advertising revenue in France even exceeded pre-pandemic numbers in 2021, suggesting that advertisers are not looking to abandon the old-school format just yet.

Online advertising is on a roll

The French advertising landscape is in the midst of a digital transformation. With the number of internet users and the demand for online media content at an all-time high, marketers are leveraging the internet's vast potential and reallocating funds away from offline channels. In 2021, digital ad spend in France was estimated at 8.7 billion euros, placing the country among the largest digital ad markets worldwide. So which channels and formats are advertisers flocking to? Data on the distribution of digital ad spend in France reveals that search advertising remains the top format, followed by social and display. Roughly 3.25 billion euros were devoted to search campaigns in 2021, representing more than 40 percent of total digital expenditures. Meanwhile, spending on social media ad campaigns surpassed two billion euros. While this figure can be explained by the vast popularity of Facebook and Instagram, the sum might still come as a surprise considering that French survey respondents also voted social media the least trustworthy advertising medium that very same year.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 31 most important statistics relating to "Advertising market in France".

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