MediaRadar Blog

MediaRadar’s Recession Ready Weekly Advertising Overview: Apparel and Food advertisers loosen their ad budget belts

Week of February 6, 2023

This week MediaRadar reviewed advertising from the week of January 23, 2023, and compared it to ads that ran the week of January 16, 2023.

This article discusses four categories, but we also share weekly, monthly, and quarterly ad shifts in investment among all segments here. (Don’t worry, it’s ungated)

Here are some key weekly takeaways from advertising shifts that took place.

MediaRadar’s data sample revealed Food advertisers increased ad spend this week. It was up over 100% WoW.  Food subscription boxes (Butcher Box, HelloFresh, Hungryroot, etc.) invested over $5mm, up 1000%+ WoW. Snacks & Desserts were up 115% WoW from last week. As Valentine’s Day gets closer, Candy brands increased ad spend by over 1000% WoW.


Ad spend from Apparel advertisers increased less than 5% WoW to $45mm+ invested. This is the 1st week since November 28th that there’s been a week-over-week increase in this category. Accessories (jewelry, watches, etc.) advertising investment increased 30%+ WoW, representing an estimated $12mm in advertising. Apparel brands invested over $10mm in advertising this week. This is an over 15% WoW increase. Ad spend for apparel brands came from a mix of designer fashion (23%) and sportswear (77%). Athletic footwear was also up over 15% WoW to $1mm+ in ad investment.

We saw Pharmaceutical advertising decrease 25% WoW to less than $125mm in ad spend during the week of January 23rd.  Large Pharma companies increased ad investment 27% WoW to shy of $100mm. They advertised over-the-counter (OTC) meds, prescriptions, and biopharmaceutical advertising. Interestingly, prescription advertising decreased 34% WoW to less than $75mm. OTC meds helped to offset the decline with a 17% WoW increase to nearly $15mm. Dietary supplements were also down 23% WoW from the $20mm+ invested the week of January 16th. 

Education and Training companies reduced ad investment this week by 20% WoW ($20mm). Colleges and universities increased ad spend by nearly 20% WoW. Real estate education and primary & secondary education’s advertising investments were both down over 40% WoW. Online Education Companies remained flat week-over-week with around $4mm in ad spend.

For a full breakdown of which product categories are buying ads now, click here. The list is updated weekly – you can subscribe to receive it in your inbox.