Data released by Nielsen shows the broadcaster increased its spend by 2.7% to £197.1 million (€225m), while the US multinational reduced its spending by 1.4%.
BT also reduced its spending, but maintained third place in the table.
Virgin Media dropped its spending by 30.1% and two places in the ranking to 8. Alongside supermarket Aldi it saw the biggest decline in spending.
“It was quite a chalk and cheese year in terms of how the very biggest advertisers changed their emphasis on traditional advertising,” says Barney Farmer Nielsen’s UK commercial director. “Half spent more, half spent less, with the likes of Tesco and Samsung ramping up spend dramatically, in complete contrast to that of Virgin and Aldi. Of course, the differences are due to many factors including the competitive state of their sector, the changing allocation towards digital but also the wider uncertainty caused by Brexit. Thus, it’s hard to pick out an overarching trend other than the advertising dominance of the home media/telecoms providers and household goods manufacturers.”
Nielsen’s figures include the seven major traditional media formats but exclude internet advertising.