India's Media and Ad Growth Will Overtake China by 2012

12 August 2008

PARIS: The subcontinent of India is poised to outspend China as an advertising, entertainment and media and entity, predicts PriceWaterhouseCoopers in its latest report on the region.

Whereas China is seen by most international observers as the Big Kahuna of global growth, PwC fingers India as the nation that by 2012 will top the world's annual media and entertainment spending league table.

China, predicts PwC will notch a media-spend expansion rate of 15% within the next four years, whereas India is forecast to reach 19%.

Anant Rangaswami, editor of ad trade journal Campaign India, points out that the influx of smaller agencies – from within and beyond the subcontinent – reflects profound changes in India, as the densely populated nation transforms into a sophisticated, consumer-oriented economy.

Until recently, advertising was often rudimentary; sometimes the global agency conglomerates simply adapted bland, international campaigns for the Indian market.

Now, says Rangaswami: "The ambitions of young Indian entrepreneurs has changed. They want to start brands afresh."

Cue the entrance of relatively small hotshops such as Wieden + Kennedy and StrawberryFrog of the US, plus Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Naked Communications, headquartered in London.

"Our view is that we ought to go where our multinational clients are," opines Simon Sherwood, ceo at BBH.

While StrawberryFrog ceo Scott Goodson observes: "The media fragmentation that happened in Europe and the US is happening [on the subcontinent] now. It's a whole new proposition for India."

And Jon Wilkins, a founding partner at Naked, sees an opportunity to work with Indian companies seeking to go global. "There is a slightly untapped market for international strategic and creative thinking about brands," he believes.

Data sourced from International Herald-Tribune; additional content by WARC staff