Jingles mute as ad spends slow last year

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 02, 2013 22:50 hrs

Contrary to the expectations of media honchos betting on advertising expenditure (AdEx) growth of eight to nine per cent at the beginning of 2012, AdEx growth across sectors stood at a mere four per cent last year, compared to the growth in 2011, according to GroupM’s report This Year, Next Year’.

In June, many media agencies had scaled down their forecasts. However, the actual figures turned out to be even lower.

Net ad spends across segments stood at about Rs 34,724 crore.

“The first half of 2012 was quite sluggish and the economic climate was not what we had anticipated. Also, in the first half of 2011, we had the Cricket World Cup and the IPL (Indian Premier League), which saw significant ad spends. But in 2012, IPL spends were far less,” said T Gangadhar, managing director of media agency MEC India. Media experts say no Cricket World Cup and the lacklustre IPL performance last year provided a setback of Rs 900-1,000 crore to the TV medium alone.

GroupM expects this year, AdEx would grow nine per cent, as a recovery in financial services is expected and a few other sectors are also expected to perform better.

Gangadhar said, “Advertiser categories like telecom, financial services, automobiles and consumer durables had reduced spends last year. We are expecting a revival in 2013. Telecom, automobiles and consumer durables are expected to spend more this year. Also, there is some action in real estate. So, we estimate nine per cent AdEx growth in 2013.”

However, a few agencies aren’t so bullish. “There is a definite slowdown, not just in minds, but hard numbers, too. AdEx is directly linked to GDP (gross domestic product) growth. Now that there is an overall pressure on margins and consumers don’t have enough disposable income, we do not see a major change in 2013 either. The indication from clients and our gazing into the first quarter shows ad spend budgets would shift from ATL (above the line) such as TV and print to more BTL (below the line) activations like on-ground and digital. As of now, spends for 2013 look stagnant,” said Sulina Menon, executive director, Starcom India.

According to the GroupM report, TV AdEx saw only 3.1 per cent growth at Rs 14,461 crore, compared to the previous year. It is expected to grow 12 per cent in 2013, the report adds.

Newspaper AdEx saw just 2.4 per cent growth at Rs 13,622 crore. It is expected growth in 2013 would be five per cent, as automobiles and financial services are expected to increase spends.

In 2012, radio broadcasters were awaiting phase-III auctions. This medium, too, remained sluggish. AdEx grew five per cent to Rs 1,530 crore; in 2013, it is expected to grow seven per cent.

One of the worst-hit sectors was out-of-home. Here, AdEx recorded just two per cent growth, against the expected six per cent. Next year, it is expected to grow six per cent.

Digital and cinema AdEx saw robust 28 per cent and 15 per cent growth, respectively. In 2013, digital medium ad spend is expected to grow 30 per cent, while cinema AdEx growth is estimated at 15 per cent.

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