Though television accounts for half of all media spending, that category was down two share points compared to the first quarter of 1992. At the same time, spending in print increased three points to account for 40% of the total ad pie. The jump in print spending was fueled by a huge increase in real estate advertising, which leapt a whopping 86% to $34.5 million, representing 11.9% of total ad expenditures for the quarter. Spending in radio was up 15% in the first quarter of '93, to $18.4 million.
J. Walter Thompson associate media director Stuart Lee said the real shock was that TV share was down in January by 1% for Chinese language and 14% for English language. "It is a surprise considering the Chinese new year was in January this year, which is traditionally a time for extra advertising on TV," Lee said. Last year, the Chinese new year fell in February.
Fewer TV discounts put off advertisers, who began looking for alternatives for their ad dollars. Lee noted that this, coupled with declining audiences recorded by stations, made it harder for buyers to justify massive expenditures on TV.
DDB Needham Worldwide executive media director Alice Lam said retail advertising had a poor showing in this first quarter. "And based on the state of the economy, it's going to be bad for retail the rest of the year," Lam added.
Still, expectations for continued growth through the rest of the year remain high.
Suzanne Miao is the editor of Media in Hong Kong.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)