Virgin, which upped its budget by £9m, dwarfed the spend of arch-rival BSkyB, which shelled out £19.5m on mailings. The two companies are locked in a major marketing war to capture the connectivity market.
JD Williams was pushed into second place, after the catalogue retailer cut spending from £38.4m to £31.1m.
Although overall spending on direct mail by the top 1,000 brands dropped by seven per cent in 2010 compared to the previous year, several brands did increase their budget, according to the figures released by Nielsen.
Financial services firm Saga paid out £24.8m in 2010, up from £23.2m in 2009. Credit card provider MBNA also boosted spending to £17.7m, from £12.7m in 2009.
The top ten direct mail spenders of 2010
1) Virgin Media (£33,148,913)
2) JD Williams & Co (£31,149,410)
3) BT (£29,103,161)
4) Saga Services (£24,887,892)
5) Beaconsfield Footwear (£22,419,067)
6) British Sky Broadcasting (£19,562,527)
7) Tesco (£18,778,554)
8) MBNA Europe Bank 17,726,995
9) Chums 16,387,894
10) Direct Wines 15,378,562
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