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Firms Vie for TV Advertising Slots

A grand gathering for China Central Television (CCTV) yesterday once again proved the rosy growth prospects of the Chinese market.


Representatives from over 150 domestic and foreign enterprises gathered at Beijing Media Center, bidding for CCTV's prime time advertisement slots next year.


"The number of participating enterprises is 20 percent higher than that of last year," said Guo Zhenxi, director of CCTV's advertising department."And the bidding volume is expected to rise by at least 10 percent."


Last November, the national broadcaster auctioned more than US$530 million worth of prime-time advertising for the whole of 2004 to hundreds of companies.


The total volume for this year will be revealed early this morning.


"Enterprises' bidding enthusiasm and huge advertising costs are clear proof of good economic performance and companies' confidence in the booming market," said Yuan Fang, media research director of CTR Market Research.


Labeled a barometer of the Chinese market, the auction also shows a diversified industrial development trend, Yuan said.


In CCTV's previous auction sessions, successful bidders were often engaged in selected industrial sectors, such as liquor, lubricant oil, and dairy firms.


However, bidders this year came from various industries, ranging from food processing to health care products, from daily consumer goods providers to mobile phone makers, and from petrochemical industry to financial sectors.


"Influential CCTV is the best stage to promote a reputation," said Li Jia, general manager of Monarch Lubricant Oil. He said his company's strategy of promoting its brand through CCTV's prime time ads from 2003 achieved good results. Last year, its sales increased by 89 percent.


And from January 1 to November 10, its sales volume topped 2 billion yuan (US$242 million), compared with just 670 million yuan (US$81 million) in 2002.


In addition to increasing domestic participants from various industries, multinationals, who used to be quite conservative about advertising on CCTV, become more active in joining the tender game this year.


(China Daily November 19, 2004)

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