The Chinese advertising marketing is expected to show a 25% growth surge during the first quarter of this year, compared with the same period in 2005.

A report to be published by Nielsen Media Research will reveal that adspend in China reached 82.6 billion yuan ($10.3bn; €8.05bn; £5.48bn) in Q1.

The figures are based on published ratecards, which do not account for common discounts of as much as 50%. They also exclude spending on internet and outdoor ads, two increasingly important marketing channels in the country.

China - believed by some to be the world's third biggest ad market after the US and Japan - saw 2005 adspend grow 18% from 2004, when it was up 22% from 2003. In 2003, it grew 39% from the year before.

Marketers are chasing the fast-growing urban professional class, via ads for cars, credit cards and cellphone services. Other growth sectors include jewelry and baby products.

The "fundamental driving force" behind the ad surge, opines Rita Chan, director of Nielsen Media Research China, is that "the living standard of Chinese people is increasing".

The Chinese authorities have also been encouraging consumer spending as a way to slow down exports to the US and to boost the domestic economy.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff