Home / News & Analysis / Consumer electronics giant Samsung just became the world’s spendiest advertiser, bypassing Procter & Gamble

Consumer electronics giant Samsung just became the world’s spendiest advertiser, bypassing Procter & Gamble

Who rules the roost in the business world is very much in flux. We see it on a daily basis, with the mantle of “most valuable company” being passed between Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, depending on the day.

Another interesting data point that highlights some of the jockeying for dominance behind the scenes: For the first time, South Korea’s Samsung has beat out packaged goods company Procter & Gamble in terms of the advertising dollars it’s putting to work. According to new data from AdAge, the consumer electronics and appliance maker splashed out $11.2 billion for advertising and sales promotion last year, compared with P&G, which spent an estimated $10.5 billion.

Samsung, which has a $300 billion market cap, may have spent so heavily in part to counter bad press, including around its Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone, which had the unfortunate capability of spontaneously bursting into flames. Fighting Apple for constant mindshare isn’t cheap, either. For example, you may have noticed the flurry of anti-iPhone X ads that the company churned out ahead of the release of its Galaxy Note 9 unveiling — an effort to boost its bottom line after sales of its Galaxy S9 phone disappointed.

Samsung isn’t the only tech brand that’s pumping up the volume when it comes to ad spending. Amid the companies accelerating their ad budgets the most quickly are China’s biggest online retailer, Alibaba Group Holding, which reportedly more than doubled its 2017 advertising spending to $2.7 billion in 2017. And Alibaba is trailed, unsurprisingly, by one of its biggest rivals, Tencent Holdings, whose $2 billion in related spend last year was nearly double what it was in 2016.

Though the two are undisputed powerhouses in China, they’re currently locked in a battle for Southeast Asia and India, and it’s a costly war to wage.

Others in the tech world to dominate AdAge’s tally include Alphabet, Netflix and Amazon, which reportedly boosted their 2017 spending by 32 percent, 29 percent and 26 percent, respectively.

Altogether, says AdAge, the U.S. is home to 44 of the companies spending the most of marketing, followed by 13 companies in Japan, 10 companies in Germany and nine companies in France.

You can dig into more of its findings, including a look at the 100 companies and industries that currently spend the most on advertising, here.

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