MOSCOW: Major advertisers such as Procter & Gamble are making increased use of television in Russia, as they seek to connect with consumers during the downturn.

According to Warc's latest Consensus Forecast, Russia is set to see its advertising revenues plummet by more than 30% this year.

Video International, the country's biggest TV advertising sales house, has also estimated that the medium's share of adspend has climbed to 56% over the first nine months of 2009, up 5% year-on-year.

Sergei Veselov, marketing research director at the organisation's Analytical Center, argued the financial crisis was one of the main contributors to this trend.

"We expected the share of ad budgets spent on TV commercials to reach 55% to 56% over the next four to five years, but the crisis seems to have catalysed the process," he said.

As companies with more limited budgets have been forced to pare back their expenditure, this development has seemingly been driven by their larger rivals.

"Small advertisers had to wind down their campaigns on TV because of the crisis. This allowed the major ones to increase their share on television," said Veselov.

One marketer which has made greater use of this channel is Procter & Gamble, which is the top advertiser in the European nation, according to figures from TNS.

Yulia Mayorova, a spokesman for the FMCG giant, said "the television share of our ad budget has really increased. We redistributed our advertising funds because we had to optimise our investments due to the crisis."

"The efficiency of television is much higher than that of the print media. We're basing this on the number of people who will see our advertisements. Millions will see them on TV," Mayorova added.

Wimm-Bill-Dann, which produces dairy goods like Domik v Derevne, as well as J7 fruit juice, has also made the decision to direct some 95% of its media budget to TV.

Marina Kagan, its head of public affairs, said "we have benefited from the crisis. While many companies were cutting their advertising expenditures and volumes of advertisements, we managed to differentiate ourselves from others."

Data sourced from Moscow Times; additional content by Warc staff