Gong Xi Fa Cai to all our Chinese subscribers. The ‘Year of the Snake’ under the 12 year cycle of the Chinese calendar is about to begin. If you live in Asia or in a country with a sizable Chinese community, you can hardly have missed the excitement which leads to celebrating the start of a new lunar year. Each lunar year has its own characteristics and Chinese mothers will often aim to give birth in an auspicious year like the ‘Year of the Dragon’.

According to the experts, the ‘Year of the Snake’ will start with many uncertainties but end up on a high note. Actually most advertising agencies start each year off not knowing which budgets will be confirmed and then enjoy a rush of spending in the last quarter. The Chinese masters tell me that the best accounts to have this year will be in the automobile, financial, travel, real estate and food sectors. I am afraid they say it is not a good year for communications or Internet businesses.

Two reports just a few days ago from Nielsen say consumers in Hong Kong and Singapore will reduce personal spending in 2013 which will no doubt have an effect on advertising, despite the proven law that a company that spends more in a recession comes out on top. This slow-down in the consumer spending may put a damper on the communications business.

My prediction is that while traditional advertising will remain steady, the digital media and its supporting technology firms will see many changes. The snake regularly sheds its skin and this will surely be witnessed in this dynamic sector. It is time, like the snake to be intuitive and clever.

I wish all AdAsia subscribers, Chinese or not, good luck, health and prosperity in the coming year.