Hershey Co., which has been among the most aggressive food advertisers in recent years, cut spending in the first quarter as it pared back investment in smaller brands.

The candy giant reduced ad spending by about 3% for the three months ending March 30, according to the company’s quarterly earnings statement. The cut represents the first spending reduction since the fourth quarter of 2011, pointed out Thilo Wrede, an analyst for Jefferies, in a note to investors.

Hershey also said that advertising and “related consumer marketing expense” will increase by “mid-single digits” for the full year, which is slightly less than an earlier forecast.

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