Advertising for gambling purposes in Spain last year posted a double-digit increase, contrary to the overall decline of marketing-related investment in the country. According to the 6th edition of the Advertising Observatory in Spain 2020 by the Spanish Association of Advertisers (AEA), advertising spend for gaming and betting grew by 10.6%, while total advertising spend for 2019 fell by 0.5% year-on-year.
Total spend for advertising in Spain during 2019 was €13.1 billion, out of which €145.6 million was for gambling purposes. The gambling sector was ranked 11th in the list of highest spending on advertising, the automotive industry topping the list with €564 million, but the only sector which grew more than gambling percentage-wise was industrial, material and agricultural, with an increase of 29.3% in advertising spend.
State-Run Lottery Advertising Surpassed Car Manufacturers
Out of the €145.6 million total spend for the sector, around one third, €49 million, came from a single source, state-run lottery operator ONCE, which was ranked 11th among single spenders on advertising during the year, surpassing even tech groups like Samsung and automotive giants Seat and Renault. Top automotive spender Volkswagen was well ahead the state-run lottery, though.
Regarding advertising impact, gambling scored just 4.9, a score obtained by “the number of people who remember having seen or heard advertising for a brand”, ranking 15th in the list, where the top performer was food and hospitality with a score of 104.4, followed by the automotive industry with 53.8.
Digital Media Outperformed TV
Regarding preferred channels for advertising, digital media outperformed in 2019 television for the first time, accounting for 38.6% of the total spend on advertising, compared to 33.7% advertising for TV. Double-digit growth was posted by both branded content and social networks, but the biggest jump in advertising increase was for influencers, which accounted for €61.8 million, a 67% jump.
The biggest loser among the sectors was the tobacco industry which faced significant restrictions in terms of advertising, leading to the sector advertising spend sinking 24.5% year-on-year. The slide in the advertising for tobacco is showing a glimpse of what to expect in 2020 regarding the gambling industry, which is facing serious restrictions in terms of advertising.
New Gambling Control Measures
Gambling advertising was already restricted in terms of hours of broadcasting on radio and TV, allowing it only between 1am and 5am. The Royal Decree on Advertising proposed by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs is expected to come into force later this month and implement sponsorship restrictions for gambling operators, as well as ban bonuses. The new control measures will also differentiate between private and state-owned gambling operators.
According to the new gambling controls, gambling companies are prohibited from having their brand appear on sports team shirts, and the government was even considering cutting on the duration of all existing deals by giving them a short transition period after the controls are implemented.