KUALA LUMPUR: Major multinationals like Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline and Nestlé increased their adspend levels in Malaysia during the first half of this year, helping the country's ad market remain largely stable during this period.

According to figures from Nielsen Media Research, total advertising expenditure in the Asian nation declined by just 1%, to RM2.9 billion ($823m; €578m; £501m), in the period from January to June.

Overall, TV ad revenues rose by 6%, to RM1.0bn, year-on-year, with radio up by 10%, to RM148m, outdoor by 16%, to RM55m, and point-of-sale by 7%, to RM41m.

Online also registered an uptick of 12%, to RM16m, although these figures were based on estimates drawn from a limited number of websites.

By contrast, newspapers, which take a 54% share of marketing budgets in the country, were down 5% to RM1.6bn, with magazines, on RM64m and cinema, on RM10m, also recording double-digit drops.

Among the biggest spenders were Unilever, with a measured media outlay of RM74m, up 7% year-on-year, with Procter & Gamble on RM57m, a total that was consistent with H1 2008.

Celcom, the telecoms company, was in third on RM50m, with spending off by 47%, while Nestlé posted an increase of 20%, to RM45m.

GlaxoSmithkline also boosted its expenditure by 71%, to RM39m, with KFC up by a less substantial 8%, to RM32m, on an annual basis.

Data sourced from Nielsen Media Research; additional content by WARC staff