HONG KONG: Advertising expenditure levels are likely to increase in Hong Kong in 2010, according to a new study by The Hong Kong Advertisers Association.

The group's Advertising Spending Projections report was based on a poll of 90 of the region's major advertisers, and found that three-quarters of this group expected media costs to rise in 2010.

Companies are also showing a conservative attitude towards spending, reflecting the difficult conditions in the global economy.

While 52% of respondents said their ad budgets would expand in 2010, most signalled they would boost their outlay by 10% or less, while just 21% pegged this figure at between 11% and 20%.

"Although advertisers and marketers are optimistic about the economic conditions in 2010, they are still cautious in their spending,” said Celia Fan, a director of media research at Nielsen, the research firm.

"To garner a bigger share in advertising spending, media owners need to be more flexible in inducing trial by providing creative solutions to clients."

A much stronger consensus was found in attitudes towards social media, with 84% of participants arguing sites such as Facebook and Twitter were potential brand-builders.

"Social media no doubt offer advertisers unlimited possibilities in reaching target audience and building brands," said Celine Ho, chair of the Hong Kong Advertisers Association.

"However, the lack of resources, expertise and advertising ROI pose big challenges that need to be addressed by media owners, agencies and advertisers together."

Data sourced from Asia Media Journal; additional content by Warc staff