BEIJING: The upcoming Olympic Games have boosted advertising spend in China, according to latest data from The Nielsen Company.
Total spend in newspapers, magazines and television topped 441.5 billion yuan ($61bn; €41bn. £30.8bn) during 2007, a 15% increase on the previous year.

But figures from CTR Market Research have put year-on-year growth at 9% with a total adspend of 312bn yuan last year - a marked slowdown compared to 18% growth in 2006.  

CTR vp Tian Tao believes the country's ad market is now beginning to mature and that some advertisers reined-in spending during 2007 to keep budgets in reserve for this year's big event.

Nonetheless, Nielsen says official partners and sponsors of the games spent 18.7bn yuan in China in 2007, up 23% on their 2006 spend.

Overall, adspend on products such as toiletries, food and beverages continued to show robust growth, while pharmaceutical adspend slowed, the result of tougher advertising restrictions.

Automakers and the tourism industry experienced adspend rises of 30% and 16% respectively.

Online advertising expects substantial increases among the entertainment, finance and media sectors, according to Sail Ma, director of Nielsen Online China.

CTR says overall online adspend grew 48% during 2007 to11.6bn yuan. Nielsen estimates growth will increase by a further 50% this year, thanks to the Olympics factor.

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