NEW DELHI: The Indian government was the country's biggest single TV advertiser by volume in the first two months of this year, with Hindustan Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser the two largest corporate players on this measure, reports TAM AdEx.

Television adspend is predicted to grow by 4% in India this year, an expansion slightly below the growth rate of 5% predicted for the Indian advertising market as a whole.

According to TAM AdEx's figures, government-funded "social advertising" was the biggest advertiser category on television and in print media in January and February this year.

Tam Media's LV Krishnan said government adspend had "risen significantly" over the course of the last year, while expenditure by major fmcg companies was "by and large, the same," as was also the case for telecoms providers as a sector.

Hindustan Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser were the second and third biggest advertisers on television by volume, followed by GlaxoSmithKline, Bharti Airtel and Cadbury.

Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola also made the top ten marketers on the medium.

Overall, fmcg was also the second-biggest TV advertising category for the first two months of 2009.

Shubhajit Sen, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare evp of marketing, said the company's "adspend levels have gone up this quarter," and that it plans to "continue to invest in brands."

Sanjay Gupta, cmo of telecoms company Bharti Airtel, added that adspend will is likely to continue to grow in the fmcg and telecoms markets, which are seen as "daily necessities."

In terms of print advertising, the major advertiser sectors by volume included retail, real estate, educational institutions and auto manufacturers.

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by WARC staff