Jul 21, 2020 - Economy

Jeff Bezos hated ads — now Amazon is America's top advertiser

An image of the Amazon shopping cart logo with a play button

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Amazon spent nearly $7 billion on U.S. advertising in 2019, making it the top ad spender in the country, according to a new analysis from Kantar featured in AdAge.

Why it matters: It wasn't that long ago in 2009 that Jeff Bezos triumphantly declared that "Advertising is the price you pay for having an unremarkable product or service."

  • Now that the e-commerce giant is in the business of selling hundreds of its own products, from voice assistants to TV hardware, it has a different perspective.
  • Bezos recently conceded last year that he "changed his mind."

By the numbers: Total U.S. ad spending in 2019 (in millions):

  1. Amazon: $6,879
  2. Comcast Corp.: $6,142
  3. AT&T: $5,484
  4. Procter & Gamble: $4,281
  5. Walt Disney Co.: $3,154
  6. Alphabet (Google): $3,130
  7. Verizon: $3,071
  8. Charter Communications: $3,044
  9. American Express: $2,990
  10. General Motors Co.: $2,952
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