Asia Pacific Advertising Spend Slows In First Half of 2001
AUCKLAND, August 22, 2001 – Advertising spending across Asia Pacific slowed dramatically during the first six months of
the year, with signs the advertising industry is bracing for a tough year after the significant increases achieved in
2000, according to latest advertising expenditure information released by ACNielsen Media International.
Advertising expenditure figures from the 11 markets monitored by ACNielsen Media International showed that although the
total value of advertising for the first half of 2001 edged up slightly to US$13.5 billion, growth slowed in all markets
due to a softening world economy.
“Essentially all markets experienced slower growth in the first six months of 2001 compared to the same period last
year. Some ‘growth’ markets such as China, the Philippines and Indonesia are believed to have actually experienced only
little or no growth due to heavy discounting common during tough times. This is a far cry from the same period last year
when many markets reported high double-digit growth,” said Forrest Didier, managing director of ACNielsen Media
International, Asia Pacific. (See Table 1)
Table 1. Year-on-year Asia Pacific Advertising Expenditure,
January – June, 2001
YOY 2001/2000 YOY 2000/1999
Australia -2.4% 14.7%
China 12.6% 44.1%
Hong Kong 5.0% 21.1%
Indonesia 24.4% 45.6%
Malaysia 8.1% 29.2%
New Zealand 1% 9.1%
Philippines 19.7%* 17.4%
Singapore 4.8% 28.5%
South Korea -6.7% 35.2%
Thailand 8.9% 24.8%
Vietnam 4.3% 38%
* Slight increase from 2000/1999 but little or no growth due to heavy discounting.
Source: ACNielsen Media International
Across the region, China remained the biggest advertising market despite slowing growth. The US$5.3 billion China market
is now twice as big as South Korea, which shrunk to US$2.1 billion, following contractions in spending over two
consecutive quarters. (See Table 2)
Table 2. Asia Pacific Advertising Expenditure, January – June 2001
Hong Kong 1,810.7
New Zealand 339.4
South Korea 2,126.2
*Advertising expenditure estimates are based on market rates and according to industry accepted standards in each
country, but are subject to agency discount agreements that are confidential and vary across media sectors and markets..
Source: ACNielsen Media International
Didier said the advertising markets were not short of competitive dynamics despite slower overall growth, with consumer
products and telecommunications two major drivers in individual markets.
In the Philippines, Coca-Cola, San Miguel and Mead Johnson increased advertising spend by 57% to 99%. Keen competition
in the soap category also saw Unilever, P and Colgate Palmolive raising their advertising spend for the category. However, the overall advertising market has
slowed and heavy discounts were offered to maintain the level of advertising.
In China, pharmaceutical products continued to lead the advertising market, as Chinese consumers adopted an increasingly
modern and health-conscious lifestyle. Tonic & vitamins remained the most advertised category but spending has declined 13.5%. Overall market growth, based on rate
cards, slowed to 12.6% from 44% a year ago and heavy discounting also impacted on actual billing.
In Thailand, the mobile phone war drove 10% growth in the second quarter. Between the two main operators, AIS and TAC,
they accounted for half of the 10 most advertised brands in the market.
In Malaysia, advertising by the telecommunications sector grew 11% during the first six months over the same period last
year. The four carriers – Celcom, Digi, Maxis and Telekom Malaysia – were all listed among the 10 biggest advertisers.
Digi led all advertisers in increased advertising investments, spending 48.5% more than in the first half of 2000.
In Indonesia, personal care products such as shampoo, soap and deodorant accounted for five out of 10 most advertised
brands as a result of keen competition led by Unilever and P Private car and motorcycle advertising surged 125% and 131%, respectively, in the second quarter as Korean, Japanese
and Chinese manufacturers took advantage of government policy that encouraged import of economic models. Garuda
Indonesia Airways became the third most advertised brand after increasing advertising five-fold during April to June in
an image-building campaign supporting coporate restructuring.
Singapore had a most dynamic half-year, with the deregulation of the media industry spurring advertising investments by
the media owners themselves. The launch in May of Channel U and TVWorks, both owned by MediaWorks, a subsidiary of the
newspaper giant SPH, sparked an advertising and marketing war between MediaWorks and incumbent MediaCorp.
ACNielsen Media International monitors advertising expenditure in major media, providing an indication of the state of
the industry based on market rates across the Asia Pacific region. The figures are compiled according to industry
accepted standards within each country and represents the industry’s best estimates, but are subject to agency discount
agreements that are confidential and vary across media sectors and markets.
ACNielsen Media International, a unit of ACNielsen, is the world leader in international media research and analysis.
The company is active in more than 40 markets, offering television and radio audience measurement, advertising
expenditure measurement and print readership services.
ACNielsen, a company of VNU N.V., is the world’s leading market research firm, offering measurement and analysis of
maket place dynamics, consumer attitudes and behaviour, and new and traditional media in more than 100 countries.
Clients include leading consumer product manufacturers and retailers, service firms, media and entertainment companies
and the Internet community.
For further information about ACNielsen Media International go to acnielsen.com/asiapacific.
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