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Marico in list of top advertisers by volume as Bharti Airtel slips out

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MUMBAI: Bharti Airtel has cut down its advertising on television and shifted allocations to other mediums in 2012, a year marked by slowdown and a difficult market condition for telecom companies.

Bharti Airtel has fallen off the list of top 10 advertisers on television in terms of volumes, according to TAM AdEX‘s ranking in 2012. The telecom major held the number 10 spot in the TAM AdEx‘s list of top ten advertisers in 2011.

Replacing Bharti Airtel is fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturer Marico. Not figuring in the list in 2011, Marico has marked its aggression to gain the tenth spot with one percent share in advertising volume on television.

Top 10 Advertisers in 2012 on TV
Rank
Advertisers
% Share
1
Hindustan Lever Ltd
8
2
Cadburys India Ltd
2
3
Reckitt Benckiser (india) Ltd
2
4
Itc Ltd
2
5
Procter & Gamble
2
6
Colgate Palmolive India Ltd
1
7
Ponds India
1
8
Coca Cola India Ltd
1
9
Samsung India Electronics Ltd
1
10
Marico Ltd
1

Bharti Airtel has upped its ad inventory on digital and on ground marketing initiatives. Agrees a top media buyer who is familiar with the ad spends of telecom companies, “The shift to digital and on ground in case of Bharti Airtel would be the main reason why its volume of advertising on television has decreased. If you see the whole picture, the overall media spends may not have gone down so much, but resources have been shifted to focus on other aspects of a 360 degree media plan. The BCCI and F1 sponsorships are no small investments.”

Top 10 Advertisers in 2011 on TV
Rank
Advertisers
% Share
1
Hindustan Lever Ltd
8
2
Reckitt Benckiser (india) Ltd
3
3
Cadburys India Ltd
2
4
Itc Ltd
2
5
Procter & Gamble
2
6
Ponds India
1
7
Coca Cola India Ltd
1
8
Colgate Palmolive India Ltd
1
9
Bharti Airtel Ltd
1
10
Smithkline Beecham
1

Bharti Airtel is one of the major ad spenders in India and has been on expensive mediums like cricket. The telecom major bagged the BCCI sponsorship rights of all international cricket matches played in India for the period 2010-2013.

"While telecom companies in general have reduced their ad inventory on television, in case of Bharti Airtel this fall has been sharp. Even on TV, some of the focus has shifted to niche channels," says Zeel chief sales officer Ashish Sehgal.

Bharti Airtel’s consolidated net profit has been falling for the past 12 quarters on rising expenses. The company is also faced with large cash outflows in 2013-14 on account of one-time spectrum fees and licence renewal fees, for which it is expected to preserve cash.



The reduction in TV ad volumes by Bharti Airtel could also be a reflection of the general economic slowdown that the industry is experiencing. While advertisers in general have either cut back on advertising and promotion spends or refrained from increasing them, FMCG companies have been increasing the same and this has been reflected in more FMCGs figuring in the top ten advertisers.



Of the top ten advertisers on television, nine belong to the FMCG category (same as in 2011). Samsung India Electronics Ltd, a consumer durables company, is the only outsider at number nine. HUL is the number one advertiser with eight per cent of the television ads share by volume followed by Cadbury India, Reckitt Benckiser, ITC Ltd and P&G (in that order), all claiming two per cent of ad volume.

MediaCom CEO Debraj Tripathi says, “Now that the slowdown has hit the industry, the telecoms are keeping a check on their spends and investing sparingly, while the FMCGs are robust on advertising.”



Though TAM AdEx only gives ad volumes, Marico has also increased its spends in value terms. The company, which has been selling brands such as Saffola and Parachute, has upped its ad spends for the period of January-December by 16.67 per cent from Rs 3.54 billion in 2011 to Rs 4.13 billion in 2012.

"Marico has been making efforts to increase market share. It has also launched new products and been trying to aggressively grow its brands. The aggression is marked with the acquisition of personal care brands of Paras Pharma from Reckitt Benckiser," says a media analyst.

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