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ALF Insights

21 Mar 2024

2023 Advertising Expenditure: A Year In Review

Simon Ward

Spending patterns can be really useful to help you plan your new business strategy. Here's 7 key takeaways from Nielsen's advertising spend data for 2023.

  • In 2023, advertisers listed on ALF spent £12.9bn on advertising in the UK, down 2% from £13.2bn in the previous year.
  • The top 100 spenders collectively invested £5.5bn, accounting for 43% of all spend, which compares with £5.5bn, equivalent to 41% of the total outlay, in 2022.
  • Amazon overtook Sky and McDonald’s to become the highest spending company on advertising in 2023, while Unilever rose from fourth to second place. The two new entrants in the top 10 were Procter & Gamble and Walt Disney, replacing Squarespace and Sainsbury’s. 
  • The top five increased spenders were Grammarly, Amazon, Unilever, Temu and TikTok.
  • There were seven new entrants in the top 10 spending brands list in 2023, with only McDonald’s, People’s Postcode Lottery and Amazon Prime Video remaining from 2022, and previous high spenders Squarespace, SmileDirectClub, which went out of business, and HelloFresh among those exiting the list.
  • The highest spending market categories were Retail Stores, Entertainment & Leisure Activities, Travel, Publishing & Media and Finance.
  • The hierarchy of media channels remained the same as in 2022, with TV continuing to lead the way despite a near 9% decline in spend, and Digital closing the gap despite a small reduction itself. There was considerable growth in Outdoor spend, while Radio and TV Sponsorship were also up. However, there were sizeable declines for both Press and Direct Mail, and more modest cuts for Cinema and Door Drop.

For a more in-depth look at 2023 advertising expenditure, including a breakdown of media channel spend by each market category, and an overview of the top spenders in each media channel, click here.

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