BEIJING: The spectacle of the Beijing Olympic Games is likely to attract more than $400 million (€268m; £210m) in advertising on Chinese television and will help China overtake Japan as the second biggest global ad market by 2010, says a new report from media buyer Group M.

The WPP-owned network claims the Games - which opened with a dazzling display on Friday watched by around 920 million Chinese citizens on state CCTV - will trigger a 22% adspend hike in the country this year to $35 billion, rising to $42bn next year.

Comments optimistic Group M future director Adam Smith: "Growth in 2007 was relatively restrained, but we predict many marketers are conserving funds for the anticipated Olympic bonanza this year."

The report, This Year Next Year: China, also predicts China will account for 23% of the predicted 5.8% growth in global adspend this year and 30% of the 4.5% growth forecast for 2009.

The internet is expected to steadily increase its share of advertising in China, despite the Beijing regime's tight censorship of the medium.

Group M says the web is likely to attract 7.3% of total Chinese adspend this year, rising to 8.5% in 2009.

Adds Smith: "China has the world's largest internet community, with more than 250 million users. That's an increase of more than 90 million from June of last year, representing year-on-year growth of more than 55%."

The nation's love of gambling has fuelled internet use, with 120 million players taking part in online betting last year.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff