Saving millions on media spend

How Nestlé UK enhanced media investment across both TV and press

We turbocharged our insight and intelligence function, enabling us to know with certainty that our agency had performed at – and indeed beyond – cost guarantees. In our era of increased accountability and transparency, we’re reassured that we’re managing this critical relationship well.

Steve Pollack
Head of Media Communications at
Nestlé UK

Practice & Location

Marketing Effectiveness


Nestlé UK’s Media Department wanted to understand the subtleties of its media buying performance across two of its most important media channels, TV and press. As well as assessing performance against the guarantees put in place by its agency, the team was also looking for greater insights by comparing its results against the depth and breadth of Ebiquity’s pool, which includes data from competitors and peers. Lastly, Nestlé wanted to identify specific brand, category, or channel opportunities to improve performance that became apparent from an in-depth analysis of a complete year’s worth of data.


We conducted a comprehensive assessment of Nestlé UK’s entire TV and press spend for a full year. We assessed the spend – spread across five FMCG categories, multiple audiences, titles, and channels – at a whole-company level, to enable the Media team to appraise agency performance for 12 months at a glance. They could also interrogate category, brand, and channel performance in isolation and in detail. Ebiquity’s Media Auditing & Benchmarking experience in the UK, combined with our industry-leading pool sizes, made us uniquely capable of conducting this analysis.

Identifying opportunities to enhance performance required both a top-down and a bottom-up approach to analysis. Our Marketing Effectiveness team has fine-tuned our analytics with econometric modeling, and we used this approach to identify the most fruitful areas for enhanced performance. Nestlé’s challenge required us to pick out key opportunities without running complicated qualitative analysis, opportunities that we summarised on single slides while still showing the complexity of the issue at hand. For consumer goods brands, TV is known to be the best medium to deliver return on investment, and the topics we highlighted for different sectors related to brand weight, campaign longevity, targeting, and – the most powerful financially – seasonality.


Our independent validation concluded that Nestlé’s media agency was, indeed, meeting performance guarantees across all categories and channels. It was delivering substantial savings compared with peers and competitors, performance that was worth several million pounds to the advertiser in total. Nestlé therefore had the evidence and reassurance to pay the agency bonus, as well as being confident in their deals.

The analysis also identified areas where improvements could be made. Individual meetings with brand teams addressed the opportunities identified in more detail. In this way, Nestlé now uses the same auditing process to address spend at both a whole-company and individual brand level.

Saved £ multi-millions in media performance against peers and competitors

Rationalised spend at a brand and on a whole company level

Identified TV as the best-performing medium across the business

Determined bespoke levers for teams for campaign weight, targeting, seasonality

Project & Process

Analysed spend, like-for-like, across five, diverse categories for key media: TV & press

Assessed media performance by category, brand, and channel

Explored opportunities for operational and buying improvements

Pressure-tested TV and magazine discounts against agency cost guarantees