T-Mobile's increased ad spend in 2012 didn't result in market share gains

T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) increased its advertising spend in 2012 in hopes of gaining market share, but that strategy doesn't appear to have paid off. According to research from Kantar Media, T-Mobile's market share decreased from 12.7 percent to 11.6 percent despite the company's 39.5 percent increase in ad spending.

AdAge, which reported on the Kantar research, said T-Mobile was hoping to tout its unlimited data offering and attract AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) customers because neither carrier offers an unlimited data plan. Instead, however, competitors Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility actually decreased their ad spend and saw their market share hold steady.

According to Kantar, Verizon decreased its media spend by 10.7 percent to $1.19 billion in 2012 from $1.34 billion in 2011. But Verizon's market share only fell slightly to 31.2 percent from 31.6 percent, making it still the No. 1 wireless carrier in the United States by market share. AT&T, meanwhile, reduced its ad spend 13.3 percent to $1.25 billion from $1.44 billion, but its market share rose to 27.3 percent up from 26.3 percent in 2011. Sprint's (NYSE:S) market share remained flat at 15.7 percent and the company reduced its advertising budget by 8.6 percent.

Nevertheless, the wireless industry remains one of the biggest spenders in terms of advertising. The industry in 2012 spent approximately $5.3 billion on measured media, according to Kantar.

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