Comcast was ranked by Advertising Age as the biggest U.S. advertising spender in 2016, edging out packaged goods giant Procter & Gamble in promoting a product line that includes not only cable TV, but a film studio and theme parks, as well.
Other telecom companies appearing high in the Ad Age rankings include AT&T (No. 4 with $3.6 billion) and Verizon (No. 6 with $2.7 billion). Charter Communications appears at No. 36 on the list with $1.26 billion in U.S. ad spending. Dish Network appears at No. 73 with $603.2 million in U.S. spending. Meanwhile, Altice USA made the top 200 cut at No. 198 with $198 million in total ad spend.
For its part, however, Comcast's business portfolio, following the 2011 purchase of NBCUniversal, now compares more symmetrically to, say, Disney, which finished No. 16 on the Ad Age list with nearly $2 billion in ad spending.
Comcast also led local advertising categories like “measured broadcast spot TV" spending ($341.8 million) and “measured network, national spot and local radio ad" spending ($179.4 million).
Research company Zenith predicts that Comcast will increase its U.S. ad spending by 3.7% in 2017.
Notably, wireless companies festooned the list of “most advertised brands,” with Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile all making the top 10. Interestingly though, each brand declined year over year in ad-dollar allocation.