Soft drink ad spend dips

Soft drink manufacturers spent 6% less on advertising last year as a reduction in budgets, media deflation and the poor summer weather dampened marketers’ spirits.

Brands spent £103m on advertising in 2008, down from £128m last year, according to the Britvic Soft Drinks Report 2009.

Coca-Cola GB remain the biggest advertiser in the UK and the only one of the country’s top three spenders to increase outlay last year, up 6% with a 66% increase for its Original Coke brand, offsetting the 40% and 46% drops in advertising spend for Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero respectively.

The second and third biggest spenders, Britvic/ PepsiCo, and GlaxoSmithKline, cut spending last year, down 30% to £19.6m and 4% to £13.7m respectively.

Britvic owns brands including Robinsons and Tango and distributes PepsiCo brands, including the Pepsi range, 7Up and Gatorade, in the UK while GlaxoSmithKline makes Ribena and Lucozade.

Meanwhile, sales of smoothies slumped 20% to £172m last year after two years as the fastest-growing sub-category. The fall was led by market leader Innocent, which saw sales dip by 26%, the Britvic report says.

The glucose and stimulant drinks, which includes Coca-Cola’s Relentless and Red Bull, was the fastest growing sub-category, up 12% in the year to £522m.

Overall, the soft drinks market, both take-home and on-premise, dipped 1% to £8.4bn last year.

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