It spent £12.5m on TV and press ads between the end of October and last week, with Morrisons the next biggest at £9.5m, according to research carried out for The Grocer by Nielsen Media Research.
Asda and Sainsbury spent £8.7m and £7.7m respectively, while Somerfield and Waitrose spent £3m and £2m each.
Taking press ads in isolation, Tesco has been spending double the amount of any other retailer in December.
A Tesco spokesman said that it was essential to put marketing muscle behind such a major time of year. “The figures do look