Industry sees higher growth than GroupM’s 12.6 per cent estimate

MUMBAI: “Acche din aa gaye hai,” said GroupM south east Asia CEO CVL Srinivas while unveiling the agency’s ‘This Year, Next Year 2015’ annual report.

As per the report, India’s advertising investment is expected to reach an estimated Rs 48,977 crore in 2015, up 12.6 per cent from last year with digital leading the pack with 37 per cent growth and television following at 16 per cent.

Last year, the growth of 12.5 per cent was attributed to the heavy ad spending due to the general and state elections and industry categories like e-commerce and telecom. Keeping the same positive attitude, the agency feels that 2015 will also move upwards.

Agreeing with it, the industry believes that with the economy going up in a positive manner, the numbers could even go higher.

Speaking to, Parle Products marketing general manager Praveen Kulkarni says, “ARPU (average revenue per user) is going to be better this year and ad spends will increase further.”

According to him, various initiatives taken by the government will bear fruits in the coming months. “2015-2016 will see a positive turnaround in the economy and the overall AdEx can grow up to 15 per cent,” he adds.

Voicing the same sentiments, HDFC Life marketing, product, digital and e-commerce senior executive vice president Sanjay Tripathy, sees an upward trend across all media. “The gross domestic product (GDP) grew at 6.9 per cent in 2013-14, and if it continues to grow, then AdEx is bound to increase as well. I see it going even beyond 12.6 per cent and as for digital, it can go up to 40 per cent,” he states.

However, L&K Saatchi & Saatchi India CEO and managing partner Anil Nair is a little conservative about the numbers. “Digital has various buckets from where the revenue comes in. Apart from media, there are other digital assets like apps as well. I don’t think we can put a number on the growth as I feel the industry will take at least one more year or so to touch a 37 per cent growth number,” he says, as he believes that numbers could increase for categories like retail but one cannot generalise.

“Definitely, the medium is growing faster than the rest but I would still peg it a little lower,” Nair adds.

As for the television, with new channels being launched by networks as well as investment in the digital platform and the ICC World Cup followed by the Indian Premiere League (IPL), the medium is moving forward.

Stating the example of recently announced yet-to-launch &TV, ZEEL chief sales officer Ashish Sehgal believes that with new channels comes added inventory. “World Cup and IPL will obviously help the channels as well as digital mediums. And as and when Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) releases its data, the advertising spend on television will see an upward trend as well,” he says.

However, Sehgal is a little cautious as well and believes that the numbers will be more close to reality when the next financial year begins in April.

The out-of-home (OOH) sector will see a drop this year as the agency estimates it to grow only by four per cent. Milestone Brandcom (part of Dentsu Aegis Group) MD and CEO Nabendu Bhattacharyya adds, “I guess GroupM has based the report on last year’s general elections but I believe that the sector will continue to grow by 10 per cent as the economy is stable. With e-commerce investing heavily on the medium and support of real estate and jewellery brand as well as infrastructure growing across cities and towns in the country, the medium has nothing to fear.”

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