Kenyan telecoms cut ad spending

Kenyan telecommunications operators cut their advertising budgets last year as price wars continued to hit companies’ earnings, Ipsos Media’s data revealed on Wednesday.

Essar Kenya was Kenya's only telecoms operator to increase their adspend during 2011. Nearly doubling their promotion costs. (image:

Their reports indicates Safaricom, Airtel and Orange Kenya reduced their total ad budget to KES 7.5 billion in 2011, compared to KES 9.1 billion in 2010.

However, Essar Kenya, the country’s smallest operator, was the only company to increase its ad spend in 2011. The company nearly doubled their spending from the KES 527 in 2010 to KES 904.8 million in 2011. Ipsos expects ad spend to increase this year as companies look to put price battles behind them.

“Safaricom, which controls 67.7% of the market, cut its budget to KES 5 billion from KES 5.7 billion, while Airtel dropped to KES 1 billion from KES 1.9 billion,” data indicated.

“Orange Kenya nearly halved its ad spend to KES 574.6 million from KES 1 billion. The cutbacks are a departure from the overall communications industry whose ad spend rose by a fifth to KES 11.1 billion from KES 9.3 billion in 2010. Total ad spend, excluding discounts, grew by a third to KES 65.4 billion from KES 49.2 billion. Safaricom remains the single biggest advertiser at KES 5 billion, followed by government agencies (KES 3­.6 billion).”

Joseph Mayton