Economic recovery and high-rolling internet advertisers have created boom conditions in South Korea’s advertising sector, with spending growing by its largest ever margin during the first half of 2000. Analysts forecast that spend could soar to $5.4 billion for the full year.

Says Cheil Communications, Korea's biggest agency: "We don't know what will happen next year, but for now it's going well." Chiel’s billings for the first six months soared to a record level, as did those of rivals Diamond Ad, LG and Oricom.

However, Korean-based US shops have not fared as well as their locally-owned counterparts: "It's a good year for everyone, but the same boom is not generally being experienced," says John Down, president of McCann-Erickson Worldwide’s Seoul office. Benoit Schaack, president of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide's Korean operation, agrees: "It's a better year, but the boom is basically benefiting the agencies dealing with the big chaebol. The big guys are back into spending a lot. The pie is much bigger, but it all goes into the same pockets.”

News source: Advertising Age - International Daily