Adspend in the Asia Pacific region exceeded $29 billion last year, according to ACNielsen Media International, though, as already predicted [WAMN: 05-Apr-01], growth appears to be slowing.

China, the largest ad market in the region, saw 36% adspend growth in 2000, much of the increase driven by local advertisers [WAMN: 28-Mar-01]. Elsewhere, there was double-digit growth in ten other countries in the region, including Australia (15%) and Indonesia (44%).

However, a word of warning was sounded by Frank Martell, ACNielsen’s president, Asia Pacific: “The year has been a good one, but outlook for 2001 is less certain as a result of the dotcom bubble bursting and the US economy softening.”

Indeed, nine Asian markets showed signs of a slowdown in adspend during January and February. South Korea saw an 8% contraction in spend over the first two months of the year, while in Thailand the top five advertisers halved their adspend compared to the same period in 2000. In addition, Australia suffered from weak retail figures, falling employment and a depressed currency.

Continued Martell: “It is obviously too early to say what 2001 will look like, but advertising expenditure measurements are flagging some early alerts. Growth slowed across Asia in January and February, despite advertising rate increases in some markets. Also, the negative growth in South Korea is of particular significance in the prevailing economic climate.”

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline