BANGKOK - As political unrest coincided with weak consumption late last year, advertising expenditure in December plunged by 6.53 per cent to Bt9.06 billion (S$350 million) from Bt9.69 billion a year earlier, Nielsen (Thailand) reported.
The research agency also found that overall advertising spending last year grew by only 0.95 per cent to Bt115 billion from Bt113.9 billion in 2012.
Last month, leading marketers and brands cut their advertising spending via key media. Adverts via in-store media suffered the most, down 32.58 per cent to Bt120 million from Bt178 million in December 2012. Cinema adverts also saw a 19.23-per-cent drop to Bt672 million from Bt832 million. Advertising investment in magazines was Bt407 million, down 18.27 per cent from Bt498 million, while newspapers witnessed a 0.93-per-cent decrease to Bt1.38 billion and radio adverts declined by 1.26 per cent to Bt549 million.
The main advertising medium, television, was not spared. December advertising via TV suffered a 6.43-per-cent drop to Bt5.22 billion compared with Bt5.58 billion in the same month of 2012. Six of the top 10 advertising spenders - Unilever (Thai) Holdings, Beiersdorf (Thailand), Coca-Cola (Thailand), Tripetch Isuzu Sales, Osotspa, and Celebos (Thailand) - cut their spending last month from a year earlier.
However, advertising spending on outdoor media, transit and the Internet remained positive.
Manee Eabe, managing director of Magna Global, a member of global agency IPG Mediabrands, blamed continuing weakness in purchasing power as a major factor that brought overall advertising investment down last month. Leading companies cut their advertising budgets and postponed marketing activities despite December being the festive season. This resulted from poor sales revenue during the year, she said.
For this year, the advertising industry is making conservative growth projections in the range of 3-5 per cent.
According to Nielsen's research, advertising spending last year totalled Bt115 billion, up 0.95 per cent from 2012. TV advertising remained positive, increasing 1.68 per cent to Bt69.25 billion. Newspaper adverts also saw 0.49-per-cent growth to Bt15.25 billion. Transit advertising was up 18.65 per cent to Bt3.51 billion, while Internet adverts increased by 53 per cent to Bt877 million.
Advertising spending via radio, cinemas, magazines, and outdoor and in-store media suffered declines.
Aira Securities pointed to the arrival of 24 new commercial digital TV channels as key boosters of the advertising industry in the future. An analyst at the securities firm forecast that advertising investment via both the existing six analog channels and the 24 digital ones over the next decade would see annual growth of 5-10 per cent. Within five years, TV advertising expenditure is expected to reach Bt140 billion, double last year's figure.