MUMBAI: Hindustan Unilever was the top television advertiser by volume in India last year, and also took the number one spot in the soap, shampoo, consumer durables and personal care categories.

The total volume of TV ads shown in the country rose by 26% in 2008, with food and beverages the largest single advertiser category, with a 13% share, followed by personal care with 9%, services and telecoms with 6%, and haircare with 5%.

Along with Hindustan Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser, Bharti Airtel, ITC and Coca-Cola made up the top five TV advertisers, with PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble also both making the top ten.

The volume of TV ads in the FMCG sector rose by 20% on an annual basis, with Hindustan Unilever taking a 14% share of sector airtime.

It was followed by Reckitt Benckiser on 7%, and then ITC, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and SmithKline Beecham, all on 4%.

The number of TV spots from the soaps category increased by 43% year-on-year, with Hindustan Unilever's Lux Strawberry Cream the most-advertised new brand. 

The company also took a 43% share of soap advertising during last year, once again ahead of Reckitt Benckiser on 18%, and ITC with 16%.

Consumer durables ad volumes rose by 9% on an annual basis, with spikes in the second and fourth quarters, and major spenders including Phillips, LG, Samsung, with Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing the only domestic brand to make the top ten.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff