United Biscuits concentrated its activity on certain brands at the expense of others. Jaffa Cakes, which last year received £1.42m of advertising, this year received none while advertising for McVitie's Digestive Biscuits fell 9.4% to £2.26m.
UB's Mark Sugden insists, however, that the company has been spending a lot more money on TV in the recession. "We've had Minis and Go Ahead! on TV, and Jacob's has been on TV for the first time in nearly 10 years."
Northern Foods, meanwhile, has massively upped its spend on the Fox's Biscuits range, albeit from a tiny base, up 486.9% to £1.32m. And Bahlsen's Choco Leibniz came from nowhere to record the second-highest spend in the category at £1.67m.
Kraft Foods' Oreo biscuits were the biggest losers among the top spenders, with the advertising budget down by 47.2% to £1.52m.
A number of launches have also helped buoy spending, with campaigns to support the new products. A massive 79.9% of total ad spend went on TV campaigns. Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Soft Oaties was the only product to break with this trend, splashing out £1.38m on outdoor ads. TV advertising prices have been experiencing deflation of 15% due to the recession, so brands have been able to get more bang for their buck, says analyst Mike Baker.
"Brands can spend 15% less on TV and still get exactly the same number of TVRs as this time last year, so spend remains robust," he adds.
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