BEIJING: Advertising expenditure levels are continuing to rise in China, with Procter & Gamble and L'Oréal among the leading spenders.

Research firm CTR reported the rate of growth slowed slightly to 14% in the first three quarters of 2010, to 430bn yuan ($64.7bn; €46.4bn; £40bn).

Television rose 12% improvement to 331bn yuan, handing it a dominant market share of 77%.

Provincial channels are rapidly strengthening their position given the enhanced restrictions now applied to state broadcaster CCTV.

Newspapers and magazines both registered 19% expansions, hitting 57.1bn yuan and 11bn yuan year-on-year.

Radio experienced a 33% leap to 10.5bn yuan, as the amount of available inventory grew 19% on an annual basis.

Outdoor climbed 19% to 20.4bn, although the tighter regulations observable in many areas produced a 5% contraction in accessible space.

Enterprises in the toiletries sector heightened their expenditure by 24%, investing an aggregated 67.1bn yuan.

Elsewhere, the business and services category witnessed a 10% gain to 56bn yuan, while beverages surged 22%, yielding 51bn yuan.

By contrast, the food industry cut back by 0.8%, meaning totals came in at 42bn yuan.

Pharmaceuticals completed the top five having generated a 2% increase to 36.6bn yuan, CTR said.

For individual companies, Procter & Gamble led the way with an outlay of 25bn yuan, as its Olay beauty range benefited from particularly strong support.

L'Oréal claimed second spot on 9.1bn yuan, ahead of Unilever on 8.3bn yuan, Yum Brands on 6.8bn yuan and Coca-Cola on 6.5bn yuan.

Drinks specialist Wahaha Group, packaged food manufacturer Tinghsin, dairy giant Yili and telecoms provider China also all spent over 4bn yuan.

PepsiCo rounded out the top ten on 3.8bn, leaving multinationals in the majority within this cohort.

For the year as a whole, CTR predicted the pace of growth would match that posted during the first three quarters, coming in at 14%.

At its recent annual auction of advertising slots this week - similar to upfronts in the US - CCTV saw bids rise 15.5% to 12.7bn yuan.

He Haiming, vp of CCTV's advertising and management operations, said: "The amount of money sets a new record.

"The Chinese government sees that domestic consumption is its top priority … You have to appear on CCTV if you want to nationally build a name."

More than 250 corporations committed to promote goods through at least one of the 15 stations run by CCTV, with alcoholic drinks posting the highest returns of 1.9bn yuan.

Chinese Jing Wine, Wuliangye and Luzhou Laojiao were among the biggest spenders, collectively responsible for purchases worth around 1.2bn yuan.

"Distillers usually attach great importance to building their brands, and they will continue to flex their muscles in the future," He added.

Wuliangye, also active in this segment, paid 405m yuan to sponsor the clock shown on-screen immediately before CCTV's 7pm news broadcast, the largest acquisition overall.

"For those companies who can afford to be on TV, this is a way to penetrate hundreds of markets," said Bessie Lee, chief executive of GroupM China, the media network.

Data sourced from CTR/Shanghai Daily/Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff