Betting companies control advertising spend

From left-Reel forge managing director Sammy
From left-Reel forge managing director Sammy Lusiola, director Andrew Akeya ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru and TIFA research managing director Gerry Kweya during the launch of the Kenya Media Landscape Report 2019 at Serena hotel on July 10, 2019. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

Betting firms have dislodged the State to become the biggest spender in media advertising, according to a fresh survey that sheds light on how the sector performed in recent years.

Research firms TIFA and Reelforge rank betting and gambling firms as the top companies generating advertising revenue for radio, television and print in 2018 and 2019, having overtaken the State and telcos such as Safaricom.

“This sector’s high spends is driven by increased competition, which is manifested by a proliferation of new players into the local industry which is deemed to be very lucrative,” says the TIFA and Reelforge report.

According to the study, betting firms, which had a share of 0.3 percent of the total advertising spend of Sh84.5 billion in 2014, are now at 22 percent of Sh91.5 billion.

Platforms including SportPesa, Lotto and Shabiki, which are facing tight regulation by the government, also spent Sh108 billion on advertising in 2017 up from Sh85.5 billion in 2016.


Finance companies emerged as the second leading advertisers. This could be explained by the fact that they are by law required to publish their financial statements routinely.

Foods and communication industries were third and fourth respectively.

The report also shows that telecoms firm Safaricom #ticker:SCOM also consistently dominated media advertising spend between 2014 and 2018. By contrast, the government was the highest media advertiser at Sh8.64 billion in 2017 followed by Safaricom at Sh8.12 billion.

In the outdoor advertising category, EABL was the top advertiser. It was followed by Safaricom and 1XBet. Magnate Ventures and Adsite had the highest number of billboards.