HONG KONG: Adspend in the Asia Pacific region rose by 3.3% last year, but will decline by 3.0% in 2009, the first such drop off since the financial crisis that engulfed the region in 1998, according to figures from Media Partners Asia.

The region is home to some of the fastest-growing digital marketplaces in the world, and ad revenues have also been forecast to remain more stable in the area than markets like the US and Western Europe.

While Media Partners Asia predicts that regional ad revenues will increase by 5.1% in 2010, it also warned this figure could fall to between 2% and 3% if the advertising markets in Australia, Japan and South Korea do not enjoy a quick recovery.

However, China, India and Indonesia are expected to experience strong growth rates over the next five years, expanding at around 10% annually despite the current financial slump.

By contrast, Japan, which contributes some 40% of ad revenues in Asia, could follow up a contraction of 4% last year with a decline of 10.2% this year, and then a modest upswing of 1.4% in 2010.

South Korea, which has a 9% share of the Asian ad market, saw adspend decline in the first two months of this year, and Media Partners Asia predicts that revenues in March remain "soft".

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