Asian economies reap rich dividends of World Cup in ad spends

 World Cup soccer's Asia debut has helped Asian economies in more ways than one.

Both India and China recorded a 33 per cent increase in ad spends for the period between April and June over the same period last year. According to Nielsen Media Research Asia Pacific, World Cup co host South Korea reaped the richest harvest with expenses on TV ads alone touching $ 526 million, the country's highest ever for a quarter.

Even as the global ad industry continues to reel in the throes of recession, most Asian economies posted double digit growths in the wake of soccer mania. Television advertising, notably on cable television, was among the biggest winners with expenditures rising 58 per cent in India and 29 per cent in Hong Kong. South Korea's biggest spender was World Cup sponsor Samsung Electronics which spent $66 million during the quarter.

The survey left out co hosts Japan, covering only China, South Korea, India, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Philippines was the only country which posted single digit growth at seven per cent over last year, while Singapore continued to feel the impact of last year's recession with an overall ad spend contraction by five per cent to $216 million.

In China, ad spends touched $3.841 billion, while south Korea recorded a 31 per cent increase to record ad spends of $1.374 billion. India, says the research, clocked ad spends of $1.099 billion, while Hong Kong registered a 13 per cent increase to end at $1.052 billion.

In the Philippines, it grew seven per cent to $384 million, 14 per cent in Thailand to $356 million, 42 per cent in Indonesia to $310 million and 17 per cent in Malaysia to $238 million. Nielsen Media Research offers an optimistic outlook for the region, saying that it does not expect any major contraction for this year, but adds that figures for the third quarter would determine whether the trend will continue and whether the bulk of the (second quarter) upturn was caused by the World Cup alone.

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