Ad market set for rapid growth

CHINA'S advertising market – worth US$10bil (RM38bil) last year – is set for double-digit growth annually in coming years and should overtake Japan to become the world's second largest by 2010, Nielsen Media Research said on Wednesday.  

The country of 340 million TV households is set for an advertising boom, helped by Beijing hosting the 2008 Olympic Games, as local and foreign firms vie for increasingly affluent consumers, US' top TV ratings company said.  

“We envisage there will be at least double-digit growth in the next 10 years,” Nielsen's director of client services Rita Chan said in an interview before unveiling plans to expand TV ratings coverage for China.  

Domestic and foreign firms are queuing up to tap one of the world's fastest growing consumer markets, propelled by booming economic growth and burgeoning consumerism.  

Many are launching aggressive campaigns, enlisting Asian celebrities such as NBA basketball star Yao Ming to advertise products from soft drinks to mobile phones.  

As the average person becomes more image-conscious, snazzier ads for healthcare products are crowding out traditional commercials for alcohol, Chan said.  

“I remember back in 1990, Chinese liquor played a very important role, and in the mid-1990s we had VCDs. Then in the late 90s and early 2000s, we saw a lot of health supplement products,” she said.  

To keep pace with rapidly shifting tastes, Nielsen plans to include more cities in its existing ratings system. It now measures television ratings in 11 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing and plans to expand that by 10 times in two years.  

Nielsen also plans to cover southern Guangdong, which might help Hong Kong stations such as Television Broadcasts Ltd, whose signals spill across the border, to gauge their mainland audience.  

A number of media giants such as Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and AOL Time Warner have also landed broadcasting rights in the province, considered a test-bed for foreign programming. – People's Daily  

  • Another perspective from The China Daily, a partner of Asia News Network. 

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