Ad industry cagey about prospects [Bangkok Post, Thailand]
(Bangkok Post (Thailand) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dec. 09--The Thai advertising industry is expected to grow by 5% next year, depending on the country's economic situation and political stability.
Rathakorn Surbsuk, the trading partner of Group M, said the economy is unfavourable with no positive signs, as the 2013 GDP was cut to 3%, domestic consumption and purchasing power are slowing, and household debts and political tensions are rising.
"Advertising is an easy tool to gauge economic growth. It's too early to evaluate the effect of anti-government protests. But if the situation is prolonged, it will definitely hurt the entire ad industry, just like the yellow- and red-shirt protests a few years ago," he said.
Yet major companies are still confident enough about the Thai economic outlook next year to plan marketing campaigns to boost sales. Consumer products and telecommunications services remain a force because their products are essential for daily life. The housing and automobile sectors are stable, with declining sales and higher product values.
Mr Rathakorn said the ad industry hopes the government will enact more stimulus policies to propel the weak economy.
In 2008, ad industry growth declined by 2.1% due to the yellow-shirt protests, while the start of red-shirt rallies in 2009 meant the industry grew by only 0.1%.
But the industry grew rapidly at 12% to reach 100 billion baht in 2010 due to heavy ad budgets after the red-shirt protests.
Despite the huge floods in 2011, growth continued at 3.6%. Last year, the ad industry grew 8.7%.
Vichai Suphasomboonm, the chief executive of Aegis Media Thailand, said if political stability returns, the ad industry will be brighter next year thanks to major sports competitions such as the World Cup and the Incheon Asian Games as well as the emergence of digital TV, which will draw new ads.
The two big sports events next year will drive ad spending because sports content can attract everyone, he said. Many brands are already planning marketing schemes linked to these events.
Digital TV is expected to draw new advertisers who have never bought TV ads, said Mr Vichai.
Whether TV ad spending will increase depends on three key factors, he said. First, the cost per rating point must not be too high. Second, TV ad spending is based on economic circumstances. Finally is whether digital content can attract viewers, said Mr Vichai.
Col Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission's broadcasting committee, said it plans to organise the digital TV auctions from Dec 24-27 at CAT Telecom's headquarters. It is considering organising the bidding of the four TV categories on the same day.
(c)2013 the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand)
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