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Asia Pacific Advertising Slowdown Hits Hard In 2009
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Asia Pacific Advertising Slowdown Hits Hard In 2009

Overall ad spending stayed afloat in Q1 ’09 vs. Q1 ‘08

Toward the end of 2008, the global downturn was adversely impacting advertising spending throughout many key markets around the world, with Europe and the Americas struggling more than others.  The exception to this was Asia Pacific (APAC), which appeared to be relatively impervious to the worst of the downturn. Beginning in late 2008, and escalating as the first quarter of 2009 unfolded, the majority of APAC markets were finally succumbing to declining economic conditions with substantial declines in advertising activity. Hand-in-hand with consumer confidence declining further in the new year, most APAC countries witnessed substantial ad spend cutbacks; although still not resembling the severity of those experienced in some other regions.

“While the flow on effect of the financial meltdown on individual countries’ advertising was beginning to bite across several markets late in 2008, it is the sobering results for the first quarter of 2009 which present a clearer picture of how advertising expenditure across the region was faltering. Main media measured across all markets, defined by Nielsen as free to air TV, newspapers and magazines, stalled at 0 percent growth compared to the first quarter of 2008. Even China, the juggernaut of advertising growth globally over recent years, was not immune to the faltering economic outlook, recording just 2 percent growth over the same period in 2008 and recording 17 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2008,” said Richard Basil-Jones, Managing Director for Asia Pacific, Nielsen Media International.

“Although six markets recorded declines in the fourth quarter of 2008, overall growth was 10%; however, with nine countries now in decline in 2009, the zero growth in ad spending was not unexpected. On a slightly more positive note, all “other media” tracked by Nielsen across various countries (radio, outdoor, pay TV, cinema and other combined) posted an overall 1.3 percent increase in Q1 2009,” he added.

 Nine countries recorded declines in Q1 ’09 ad spend versus Q1 ‘08:

  • Thailand        -1% 
  • Malaysia        -3%
  • New Zealand  -4%
  • India             -6%
  • Australia        -11%
  • Singapore      -14%
  • South Korea   -19%
  • Taiwan          -22%
  • Hong Kong     -5%

Just three countries showed growth in Q1 ’09 ad spend versus Q1 ‘08:

  • Indonesia (20%)
  • China (2%)
  • Philippines (8%)

Other key findings:

  •  Across the twelve markets monitored, a total of US$23.5 billion was spent on advertising in Q1 ‘09
  • A total of US$109.16 billion was spent on “Main Media” advertising in the 12 months to March ‘09 (+9%) YOY, with television comprising 71 percent of expenditures.
  • FTA Television ad spending grew 9 percent YOY; with six countries posting double-digit growth as four countries recorded declines.
  • Newspaper ad spending recorded a modest 2 percent growth YOY, even though the medium experienced declines in six countries.
  • Magazine ad spending, despite declines in 7 countries, increased 2 percent YOY, with high double digit growth in 4 countries.
  • Radio dominated the “all other media” tracked by Nielsen, with a 51 percent share of spend and a 5 percent increase YOY.