Following the LEGO Group’s announcement that it is ending the promotional partnership with the Daily Mail, there has been much triumphalism from successful campaigners. Financially, however, it seems that the tabloid will barely feel the effect when it comes to advertising revenue.
Figures from the Daily Mail in Scotland show how little the LEGO Group actually spent on advertising space, which of course can be extrapolated to get a sense of UK figures, as reported by Campaign Live:
Lego UK spent £626 on digital with the Daily Mail so far in 2016 and £1,852 with the Daily Mail, in Scotland, in 2015, according to estimates by Nielsen given to Campaign.
Even those figures may overestimate Lego’s media spend.
A source close to the Daily Mail said it has no record of the digital outlay and the promotional space that ran in Scotland was an in-house ad for a merchandise giveaway, not a paid-for ad.
It seems that the LEGO polybag give-away has been of more benefit to the Daily Mail than the LEGO Group, as the publication has not been paid for the promotion. The extra circulation that the publication received from parents and fans buying a copy for the free set was clearly the benefit to the Mail.
The advertising the LEGO Group purchases in the UK break downs as follows:
Lego, which uses Carat as its media-buying agency, had an annual ad budget of £7.4m last year, according to Nielsen, and has spent £6m so far this year.
The vast majority of its ad spend has been with broadcasters Viacom (£1.7m), Disney (£900.000), Sky (£800.000), GMTV (£500.000) and ITV (£300.000).
Other companies are under pressure following the LEGO Group’s decision to drop the Daily Mail promotion.