TOKYO: Advertising expenditure in Japan rose only marginally in 2015, according to new data which also highlighted a surge in internet advertising even as spending through traditional media declined.

The figures from Dentsu, reported in Campaign Asia-Pacific, revealed that total spending for the year – including traditional media, internet and promotional media – stood at ¥6,170bn ($55.1bn), an increase of just 0.3% on 2014.

The agency noted that improvements in corporate performance and growth in household incomes had been offset by 2014's hike in consumption tax.

There was significant movement within the different media channels, however, as internet spending increased 10.2% to ¥1,159.4bn ($10.3bn).

Spending in traditional media, meanwhile, was down a combined 2.4%, to ¥2,869bn ($25.6bn), with newspapers continuing to suffer most as they experienced a 6.2% fall in advertising revenues.

Magazines, the other print sector, fared slightly better, with a 2.3% decline in revenues, while radio came in at -1.4% and TV (terrestrial and satellite) at -1.2%.

Some high-spending categories had cut back, notably "automobiles and related products" where spending was 11% off the 2014 figure, although the biggest decline came in "hobbies and sporting goods" (-15.5%).

Spending rose in just six of the 21 categories covered by Dentsu, with the greatest increase coming in "precision instruments and office suppliers", up 9.7%.

But larger categories also registered growth, including "information and communications" (+5.1%) and "foodstuffs" (+2.7%).

For the future, Dentsu spokesman Shusaku Kannan wasn't giving much away. "We expect that Japan's economy will grow at cruising speed," he said, although he also pointed to the likely positive effects of the Olympic Games, elections, electricity liberalisation and regional revitalisation.

"As seen in every country, internet spending will continue to rise in Japan as well," he added.

Warc's latest International Ad Forecast, which draws on Dentsu's data for seven major media, expects the two largest Japanese ad channels to see increased investment this year.

TV ad expenditure is forecast to rise 1.5% to ¥1,772bn (US$1.7bn), while internet adspend growth is projected to be 8.7%. Such results are expected to underpin total market growth of 2.5% in 2016.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by Warc staff