Spending on advertising and sponsorship by betting groups in Kenya fell 68 percent through 2020, as firms reel from the twin impact of covid and tighter marketing rules.
Gaming advertising was over Sh30bn in 2019 – a mammoth $270m. But sales fell to less than Sh10bn last year, largely due to the contractionary impact of the covid pandemic which has seen sports suspended and many retail businesses forced for long periods of the year.
However, this huge dearth in gambling marketing investment is also due to new rules set by the government last year which restricted advertisement hours by the betting industry. As a result Kenya gambling sector reported the biggest slump in ad spend.
Overall, advertising expenditure dropped by Sh31.bn in Kenya through 2020 according to figures from Reelanalytics and Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK) – a 21 percent fall in 2019.
“Almost all sectors of the economy were adversely affected by Covid-19. The top most affected sectors were; communication, media and finance, Reelanalytics senior researcher Enock Mokaya said.
Media, which has proven to be one of the most resilient sectors through lockdown for obvious reasons, made up the largest portion of ad spend, 12 percent of the country’s total, followed by finance and communications.
Kenya’s social industry recorded a 325 percent rise, the highest growth in ad expenditure for all sectors in the year, largely driven by huge campaigns by the state and private firms on Covid-19 awareness campaigns.