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China Spends 32% More on Ads

The latest research on advertising expenditures in China showed a total of 283.7 billion yuan (US$34.3 billion) has been put into TV, newspaper and magazine advertising last year in the mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong, an increase of 32 percent over the year before.


Revealed by Beijing-based CVSC-TNS Research (CTR) Co Ltd, Hong Kong-based admanGo and Taiwan-based Rainmaker Intl Group at a press conference on Thursday in Beijing, the research results show the advertising industry has already recovered from the damage caused by the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) epidemic last spring.


The advertising expenditure in the three regions was 215.4 billion yuan (US$26 billion) in 2002, according to the research.


"Our research shows that advertising is seeing an even more vigorous trend this year," said Tian Tao, deputy general manager of CTR at the news conference.


Tian was echoed by Derek Kwok, vice-president of ZenithOptimedia Beijing, who said the prospect of advertising in China is "very optimistic" this year.


He explained that his optimism was based on favorable factors such as the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), the 2008 Olympic Games and a growing economy.


According to the research, the Chinese mainland enjoyed over half of the total advertising expenditure last year, or 154.4 billion yuan (US$18.6 billion), while Hong Kong and Taiwan covered 13 and 33 percent, respectively.


An interesting thing is that the three regions have shown distinctive features in top five advertised brands and commodity categories.


In the mainland, medicine and healthcare products have taken four spots out of the five top brands that spent most in advertising last year, while in Hong Kong retail and entertainment business, and in Taiwan telecom service and cell phone products have respectively accounted for most of the five top advertised brands.


Experts noted that advertising on entertainment, vehicle and banks has not accounted for a considerable amount in the mainland market, which is different from the situation in Hong Kong and Taiwan.


In the mainland, cosmetics/bath products, food, medicine, retail and real estate are the top five categories that have put most into advertising. But in Hong Kong and Taiwan, real estate took the lead.


The research also showed three large cities in the mainland -- Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou -- have different advertising patterns.


Entertainment businesses, listed in top five advertised commodity categories in Shanghai but were missing from the list in both Guangzhou and Beijing.


The research showed entertainment businesses are more prosperous in Shanghai than in the other two.


On the contrary, telecom took third place among the top five industries that invest most in advertising in Beijing and Guangzhou.


According to the research, telecom providers and products manufactures have more severe competition in the industry in these two cities.


(China Daily February 7, 2004)

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