Outdoor and radio showed the highest increase in adspend, recording 32.44 per cent (totaling $352 million) and 26.98 per cent ($170 million) growth respectively. This was followed by television with 7.03 per cent ($1.2 billion) and digital with 7.03 per cent ($121 million). Newspapers trailed last with 0.57 per cent ($1 billion). All figures include discounts offered by media agencies. The growth in outdoor and radio was due to budget cuts made by marketers due to the high cost of other mediums including television.
Magazine adspend was the only media that showed a decline, down by 5.23 per cent ($507 million). This could be explained partly by the financial sectors reducing spend by 7.97 per cent due to the recession. Still, banking and investment services were ranked first within the top ten industries that spent the most in 2009.
Toiletries and household showed the highest increase in adspend (32.94 per cent), frog leaping the pharmaceuticals and healthcare industries this year compared to 2008. The two categories separately spent $248 million and $252 million respectively.
Of the top spending advertisers in Hong Kong, GSK increased its spending significantly by 38.59 per cent ($36 million). HSBC is the only advertiser that decreased its adspend, but still took seventh place this year.
HK4As forecasted that media agencies would slowly increase their rate cards, giving less discounts, averaging to 5 per cent after this year’s economic bounce back. Tsang said: “Discounting is easy, but increasing rates again will be harder.”
Tsang is optimistic about the first half of 2010 and a stable, double digital growth in adspend for Hong Kong. However, the projection is still conservative due to the uncertainty of the economy.