Good news for TV, print as advertisers keep faith

December 14, 2o1o

Traditional media holding off digital challenge in the Chinese market. Yu Tianyu in Beijing reports.

When Mark Twain read his own obituary in 1897, he wrote a letter to his friend assuring him “the report of my death has been exaggerated”.

The same could be said for China’s traditional media, say analysts.

In contrast to the sector’s continued advertising slump in the West, research shows companies targeting Chinese consumers are sticking with television, newspapers and radio. For the time being, anyway.

Total advertising expenditure in the first three quarters of 2010 rose 14 percent on last year to a record-breaking $64.5 billion, according to the latest data from market research firm CTR. Growth was seen across all three traditional sectors.

The old guard are still attracting “international companies due to their enormous influence on local consumers” in big cities, said Yuan Shimin, a top freelance brand consultant based in Beijing.

He explained that the country’s “good economic situation and huge consumer spending potential” has largely fueled the boom.

According to the CTR data, spending on television advertising hit $49.67 billion by the end of the third quarter, an increase of 12 percent on 2009.

Newspaper and magazine advertising both saw a 19-percent rise, generating $8.56 billion and $1.65 billion respectively, while radio spots made $1.58 billion, up 33 percent.

Statistics from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television also show that television and radio stations had seen gains of more than 10 percent as of October, compared to the same period last year.

The full recovery of the Chinese macro economy has “helped create a stable environment for growth in advertising” and robust consumption has “directly strengthened various industries’ confidence”, explained Barry Cupples, chief executive of Omnicom Media Group’s Asia Pacific operations.

Major events at home and abroad have also played a part.

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