Sydney, 1 July 2010: Driven by strong economic performances and rapidly improving consumer confidence levels in the first quarter of 2010, media advertising activity across 12 Asia Pacific markets surged by 18% – the second consecutive quarter of positive growth.

In the clearest sign yet that the region is accelerating out of recession, six of the ten most confident consumer markets globally are from Asia Pacific and these are setting the pace of recovery, with positive consumer confidence level increases in the Q1 2010 Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index.

Richard Basil-Jones, Managing Director, Nielsen Media Asia Pacific comments “The latest Nielsen findings show that economic prospects are also improving rapidly, a sign that marketers, manufacturers and retailers have been eagerly waiting for, as consumers’ spending intentions are turning into actual spending reality.

In Q1 2010 global consumer confidence rebounded to the highest level since Q3 2007, however Asia Pacific posted the highest increase in confidence of all regions – up 8 points. The positive news for marketers is that Asia Pacific consumers are all ready upbeat on how they will utilize their spare cash, including 41% on holidays / vacations, 35% new clothes, out of home entertainment 29% and new technology 30%.

All of these discretionary spending considerations showed significant growth over the same findings in Q1 2009 and this is not lost on most marketers who are now back in growth mode. This is translating into advertising activity rapidly returning to pre GFC levels; where we now see the second consecutive quarter of media advertising growth across all 12 markets in Asia Pacific (compared to the same period in 2009)”.

“Based on the most recent ad spending results, the outlook for main media advertising across the remainder of 2010 appears extremely positive in all 12 markets.

The challenge for marketers however, will be strengthening their brand awareness and positioning where visibility diminished during the downturn. Consumers are out there spending and intending to loosen up their purse strings, so the onus is now on marketers to ensure their products and services return to top of mind” Basil-Jones summarised.

Key advertising trends in Asia Pacific

Qtr 1 2010 compared to Qtr 1 2009

Ad spending in main media* across the region reached US$31.16 billion, an increase of 18%

For the first quarter since Q3 2008, all 12 markets across the region recorded strong to bullish ad spend growth.

Signs of a strong advertising recovery with second consecutive quarter of growth for all 12 markets across the region.

Double digit ad spend growth across 10 markets drove overall growth in Q1 2010; led by India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan.

In a quarter of bullish revenue growth, China dominated with 69% share of all main media ad spending.

12 months to March 2010 & YOY

Overall ad spending results showed a YOY increase of 15%, to an estimated US$132.38 billion.

As the advertising recession faded, increases YOY were evident across 9 Asia Pacific markets, including double digit increases in 6 markets.

Still absorbing the impact of advertising downturns of 2009, declines YOY were recorded across 2 markets – Australia and South Korea.

Television was the main driver of growth (+16%), Newspapers (+14%) and Magazines increased by 4% YOY.

Chart 1: A continuation of the ad spend resurgence in Q1 as all markets saw growth over Q1 2009

Chart 2: For the first quarter since Q3 2008, all 12 markets across the region recorded strong to bullish ad spend growth. This was also the second consecutive quarter with no declines in ad spending.

Chart 3: Reviewing the ad spend trends over the past eight quarters, several Asia Pacific growth markets were already shaking off the GFC downturn and increasing ad spending in the second quarter of 2009.

Chart 4: Positive news for advertisers as Asia Pacific consumers consider how they will utilize their spare cash!