October 12 2010: By the close of the second quarter of 2010, Nielsen reports that the vast majority of Marketers and Media organisations were back to business as usual, with advertising activity across main media outlets showing accelerating growth year on year.

Richard Basil-Jones, Managing Director, Nielsen Media Asia Pacific comments “As booming Asian markets offset escalating European concerns, marketers across 12 Asia Pacific countries have reversed the last vestiges of advertising cutbacks that had severely impacted several key markets throughout 2009. The Q2 ad spends showed a robust 15% lift over Q2 2009, and a 17% lift in the first half of 2010 over the same period in 2009. However, of greater significance, is that after the first half of 2009 saw a minimal 3% lift over 2008, the first half of 2010 recorded an impressive 20% increase over the “Pre GFC” period of 2008.

Positive economic trend figures across all 12 markets in the second quarter, complemented by the May 2010 Nielsen consumer confidence findings (where six of the ten most confident consumer markets globally were from Asia Pacific); drove domestic growth and fuelled increased advertising activity. Nielsen found that Asia Pacific consumers were well above the global average about how they intend to utilize their spare cash, including: 59% on holidays/vacations, 45% investing in shares of stock/mutual funds, 41% on new clothes, 40% on out of home entertainment, 38% on new technology and 33% on home improvements/decorating” he added.

“With consumers already spending, many high profile global and regional marketers have identified the opportunity and already launched “back to business as usual” advertising strategies; to reinvigorate brands and strengthen their visibility in main media. Our latest ad spending results confirm that the majority of regional and global marketers have quickly returned to converting consumers’ spending intentions into real growth in sales during 2010.

Although the European, UK and U.S. markets remain cautiously optimistic, based on these latest figures, the outlook for continued growth in advertising for the remainder of 2010 appears extremely positive across all 12 markets,” Mr Basil-Jones summarised.

Chart 1: Comparing the 2008 to 2010 First Halves, although 2009 increased just 3% ahead of 2008, 2010 finished 17% ahead of 2009 and 20% ahead of “Pre GFC” 2008.

Chart 2: In Q2 2010 Asia Pacific Consumers were well above the global average for purchasing intentions with spare cash.

Key advertising trends in Asia Pacific

Qtr 2 2010 compared to Qtr 2 2009

In a quarter of bullish revenue growth, Ad spending in main media* across the region lifted to US$36.5 billion, an overall increase of 15% (*TV, Newspapers & Magazines)

Confirmation of a strong advertising recovery as all 12 markets across the region record third consecutive quarter of growth.

Double digit ad spend growth across 11 markets drove overall growth in Q2 2010; led by India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan

China dominated with 67% share of the region’s main media ad spending.

Chart 3: In QTR 2 2010, the ad spends resurgence gained momentum, as all Asia Pacific markets record growth over Q2 2009

Chart 4: In Q2 2010 double digit ad spend growth was recorded across 11 of the 12 markets compared to Q2 2009.

Half Year to June 2010 & YOY

Double digit growth continued across 11 markets as overall ad spending increased 17%, to an estimated US$67.69billion.

With seven markets recording above the average 17% increase over the first half of 2009, China’s 14% increase saw its share of market dip marginally to 65% of main media spending.

Chart 5 – In the Half Year to June 2010 all markets helped drive 17% growth over 2009

12 months period to June 2010 & YOY

Overall ad spends for the 12 months to June showed a YOY increase of 16%, reaching an estimated US$137.17 billion.

As the advertising recovery gained traction, increases YOY were evident across all 12 Asia Pacific markets.

Driving the robust advertising growth YOY, were double digit increases recorded across seven markets, led by India (+28%) and Indonesia (+31%)

Although Television was the primary driver of growth (+16%), both Newspapers (+17%) and Magazines (+9%) saw strong increases YOY.

Chart 6: Television, Newspapers & Magazines Ad spend trends across 12 Asia Pacific markets for the eight quarters from Q3 2008 to Q2 2010, and % growth YOY.