NEW DELHI: Political advertising will boost adspend levels in Asian countries including India and Indonesia this year, helping drive revenue growth despite the broader slowdown affecting the industry.

WARC predicts that Indian ad revenues will expand by around 5% this year, after posting a double-digit uplift in 2008, and media company Madison World suggests that political adspend will be responsible for most of the market's growth in 2009.

Tam Media Research also found that the country's government was the single biggest TV and print advertiser in the first two months of this year, and that the volume of TV ads by political parties rose by 30% in 2008 to some 1.6 million seconds.

The Indonesian Association of Advertising Agencies and Nielsen Media Research value Indonesia's ad market at between 42 trillion rupiah ($3.6bn; €2.7bn; £2.4bn) and 47 trillion rupiah, and say this could increase by 5 trillion rupiah this year.

Spending by the country's government and political parties also rose to 2.2 trillion rupiah in 2008, up by around 66% year-on-year, and is expected to further increase in the run-up to the presidential and legislative elections taking place this year.

TV is expected to take a 60% share of all adspend in the country in 2009, compared with 30% for press, while Yahoo and TNS predict online will grow from a value of $26m last year to $42 million in 2010.

While Japan has legislative elections scheduled for later this year, it is still forecast to see adspend decline by around 3% for the year as a whole.

Similarly, ad revenues fell by around 3% in the US last year, despite the record political adspend registered during the country's presidential election.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal/Jakarta Post; additional content by WARC staff