August 2010
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Advertising spends in India see 32 percent surge : Nielsen study

A recently completed survey conducted by The Nielsen Company on media spends reveals that advertising spends in main media - television, newspaper and magazine - in India has soared by 32 per cent in the first quarter of 2010. This is the highest growth amongst the 12 major markets in the Asia Pacific region. Overall, across the 12 markets, media spends grew by 18 per cent.

More specifically, the report reveals that year on year (YOY) growth for the 12 month period leading up to March 2010 saw an increase of 26 per cent in main media advertising spends in India. The driving force behind this climb was the newspaper, which experienced 30 per cent YOY growth in ad spends, followed by television, which grew by 26 per cent. Magazines' ad spends grew by 7 per cent.

All other media such as radio, outdoor, pay TV and cinema, put together, showed a growth of 28 per cent in the same period.

The telecom sector accounts for a majority chunk of this advertising, followed by insurance.

A quarterly comparison of ad spends in India shows that in Q1, 2010, all main media recorded double digit growth to finish 33 per cent ahead of the same quarter in 2009. Categories that showed maximum increases in ad spend were services, food and beverages and personal care/hygiene, followed by banking/finance/investment and education.

Media spends on social issues have expanded in the past year, owing not only to government campaigns but also to corporations and brands that have aligned themselves to relevant social communication. TV soaps and prime time serials that have shifted focus to social issues have contributed to this as well.

Clearly, consumer confidence levels are high and this speaks well of the manner in which the country is accelerating its way out of the economic downturn. The Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey showed that India emerged as the most confident nation in the first quarter of 2010.

Piyush Mathur, president, India, The Nielsen Company, opines, "Economic prospects are better; thus, consumers' spending propensity is increasing. This is translating into advertising spends." However, he cautions that now the challenge for marketers will be right brand positioning and strengthening brand awareness as visibility had taken a beating during the downturn.

"The outlook for media advertising across the remainder of 2010 appears extremely positive in India. Consumers are loosening up their purse strings," Mathur adds.

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