Spain: gambling ad spend bucks national trend

The sector saw the second highest increase in advertising spend in 2019.
The sector saw the second highest increase in advertising spend in 2019.

The sector’s spending on ads increased by 10.6% last year while overall advertising investment dropped.

Spain.- As Spain prepares for the introduction of tough new restrictions on gambling advertising, new figures show the sector was one of the few to buck a national decline in advertising spending last year.

While overall advertising investment in Spain fell by 0.5 per cent year-on-year in 2019, gambling operators increased their spend by 10.6 per cent to €145.6m.

That made gambling Spain’s eleventh highest-spending sector on advertising.

The figures were revealed in the sixth edition of the Spanish Association of Advertisers’ (AEA) Advertising Observatory report.

According to the report, the total advertising spend in Spain fell by 0.5 per cent year-on-year to €13.1bn.

The motor industry remained the sector that spent the most on ads, investing €564.1m.

But the only sector that increased its advertising spend more than the gambling industry was the industrial, material and agricultural sector which increased advertising investment by 29.3 per cent. 

Almost a third of the gambling sector’s contribution came from the state-run lottery operator ONCE.

It spent €49m, making it the eleventh-highest spender on advertising across all sectors ranking above companies such as Seat, Renault and Samsung.

Although eleventh in terms of spend, gambling as a whole came fifteenth for advertising impact based on the number of people who remembered seeing or hearing a brand’s advertising.

Collectively, the sector scored just 4,909. In comparison, ads from food and hospitality, the sector with the highest impact, were recalled by 104,383 people and the motor industry, in second place, by 53,769.

For the first time, the AEA report found that digital media outperformed television. Digital represented 38.6 per cent of all advertising spend in 2019 while TV accounted for 33.7 per cent.

There was double-digit growth in the amount spent on branded content and on social networks while influencer spend increased 67 per cent to €61.8m.

The biggest drop in spending was seen in the tobacco sector which reduced advertising spend by 24.5 per cent year-on-year. 

That could be a sign of things to come for the gambling sector since Spain is expecting to implement its new Royal Decree on gambling advertising this month.

The decree will limit gambling advertising from private operators to the hours between 1am and 5am and will prohibit gambling operators from sports sponsorships.

Meanwhile, a recent report has concluded that Spain has one of the word’s lowest problem gambling rates.

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