In the French advertising world, the year 2023 will have been marked by the sensational arrival of the Chinese Temu. Accessible in the country since February, the e-retailer with cut prices quickly established itself as the second largest advertiser in the French digital world with expenditure of 27.5 million euros. Just behind the American Amazon and ahead of the French operator Orange… “Overall, Instagram remains the platform favored by brands for advertising with Facebook, far ahead of TikTok and Snapchat,” revealed this Thursday Florence Doré, France marketing director of Kantar Media, on the occasion of the results of the Unified Advertising Market Barometer (Bump). Digital advertising, dominated by the Meta trio, Google and Amazon, continues to drive market growth in France, with more than 9.3 billion euros invested in 2023 in search, social and display ( 9 .5% growth over one year and  56% compared to 2019).

In a context where the majority’s bill aimed at “reducing the environmental impact of fast fashion” must be examined today in the National Assembly, advertising pressure from its main players exploded by 83% last year . The Chinese Shein, which also communicates in mainstream media, having invested more than 43.8 million euros. If the ecological imperative has never been so urgent, the fight between fast fashion and the second-hand world (Vinted, Vestiaire Collective, etc.) promises to be very difficult, while the latter have reduced their pressure advertising of -35%…

Also read: Slashed prices, gadgets and limitless marketing: the resounding breakthrough of the Chinese Temu and TikTok is shaking up Amazon

Faced with inflation, the price war in many sectors has sidelined corporate communication around the ecological transition. So much so that advertising pressure around CSR messages fell by 6.5% compared to 2022. “Advertisers have largely abandoned messages around ecology, starting with retail players,” says Florence Doré.

In 2023, net advertising revenue from traditional media, i.e. radio, television, press, cinema and billboards, amounted to 8.2 billion euros, almost stable (- 0.4%) over one year and down (-3.8%) compared to 2019. “Despite high inflation at 4.9% and the reluctance of certain companies in their marketing spending, the media held up well” , notes Xavier Guillon, general director of France Pub.

In detail, radio grew by 3.1% over one year and even exceeded its 2019 levels (- 1.1 %), with 722 million euros in advertising revenue. “Only thematic radio stations are suffering a little,” slips Christine Robert, deputy director of Irep. The media, popular with brands wishing to communicate about their promotional offers, unsurprisingly counts Intermarché, Lidl and Carrefour among its top advertisers.

At 3.3 billion euros, television shows a decline of 3% over one year and falls below its pre-pandemic levels (-0.6%). “2023 was a fairly chaotic year for television, the media took the full brunt of the multiple crises,” continues Christine Robert. The classic space, which still accounts for more than 80% of television media revenues, is in decline. And spot prices tended to be negotiated downward. Cinema, which continually fights against tough competition from streaming platforms, continues its rise with revenues increasing by 30.4% to 82 million euros. But still far from its good days of 2019 (-17.3%)

As a whole, the press shows a contained decline of -2.7% and -14.9% compared to 2019, with 1.7 billion euros in advertising revenue. “The construction, construction and health sectors, particularly nursing homes, which did poorly last year, tended to cut their spending,” explains Florence Doré. Faced with the regional daily press (PQR) or the magazine press which is suffering, only the national daily press (PQN) displays stable levels over one year and exceeds its 2019 level. Finally, the display sector is regaining color and recording in 2023 a rebound of 5.2% over one year, to nearly 1.3 billion euros, almost returning (-1.9%) to its pre-Covid revenue.

The advertising market is now showing optimism for 2024. Investments in traditional media should increase slightly (0.9%), according to Bump forecasts. “The expected significant drop in inflation will allow the market to regain a certain stability,” anticipates Xavier Guillon.

It is the Paris Olympic Games this summer which are especially promising record advertising spending, with advertisers like Danone, Toyota, Coca Cola and Française des Jeux (FDJ). “Communication around promotions will continue to target the most modest households, while advertisers in the high-end segments of culture, leisure and luxury will target more than ever the French who have never ceased to hoard the latter years,” concludes the professional.