BANGKOK: Advertising expenditure in Thailand is expected to pick up in the second half of the year thanks to a combination of economic recovery and the boost to marketing from local and international sporting events.

The first five months of 2016 saw spending fall 8.5% year-on-year, according to Nielsen Thailand data, but anecdotal evidence points to a rebound in June.

"Advertising spending by our clients has been picking up, with at least 25% year-on-year growth for this month. This is a sign of recovery for the rest of this year," Wannee Rattanaphon, chairwoman of IPG Mediabrands, told The Nation.

Her colleague Manee Eabe, managing director of Magna Global, noted that the third quarter tended to be a peak quarter for advertising and added that government initiatives were also having an impact.

"Local businesses are also expected to benefit from the government's infrastructure spending and Pracha Rath grass-roots economic policy," she explained.

Moreover, the ad industry is seeing increased activity around Euro 2016, the football tournament currently taking place in France, and the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix in Bangkok; the Rio Olympics is expected to give the sector a further fillip.

But while television has traditionally been the medium that gains most from sports, that picture appears to be changing.

TV sponsorship packages for Euro 2016 and the Volleyball World Grand Prix are reported to be almost fully booked, but Surin Krittayaphongphun, acting president of Bangkok Entertainment Company – an official broadcaster of the Euro 2016 – observed that many brands were allocating more of their budgets to online media.

The money is following consumers, whose behaviour has changed significantly over the past couple of years with the advent of 3G/4G wireless broadband internet.

"Thai audiences always loved watching online videos. But now they have become online shoppers," said Siwat Chawareewong, vice president of the Digital Advertising Association (Thailand).

Data sourced from The Nation; additional content by Warc staff