Cosmetics firms help give ad spending a healthy glow in first half

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 July, 2012, 12:00am


Advertising spending in Hong Kong climbed to a new high in the first half of this year, driven by major campaigns in the cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, entertainment and consumer electronics markets.

Media-monitoring firm admanGo estimated that the city's total advertising expenditure from January to June rose 13 per cent to HK$18.78 billion, up from HK$16.56 billion a year earlier, on the back of promotions that largely targeted mainland shoppers.

About 90 per cent of all advertising in the first six months of this year went to campaigns on television, in newspapers, magazines and outdoor media.

But Jennifer Ma, the director of sales and marketing at admanGo, said paid newspaper advertising was 'the only media segment to suffer a year-on-year decline in advertising income' - due primarily to a decrease in spending by the banking and investment services industry.

The advertising market share held by paid newspapers fell to 18.72 per cent, down from 21.58 per cent in the first half of last year.

The share held by free newspapers, meanwhile, grew to 11.23 per cent, from 9.47 per cent.

Expenditure by banking and investment services industry advertisers slipped 3 per cent to HK$1.67 billion in the first half, but other market categories more than made up for that slight tumble.

Cosmetics and skin-care industry campaigns rose 26 per cent to HK$1.56 billion. Procter & Gamble led the charge and was Hong Kong's top-spending advertiser in the first half, with a 39 per cent increase to HK$437.65 million as it heavily promoted cosmetics brand SK-II.

Spending in the pharmaceuticals and health-care industry grew 12 per cent to HK$1.38 billion. Mainland shoppers' high demand for milk powder led Abbott Laboratories, Mead Johnson and Friso - Hong Kong's three most popular brands - to invest a combined HK$311.6 million in advertising during the first half.

The entertainment industry saw spending grow the most at 37 per cent to HK$870 million in the first half. Some of its most high-profile campaigns were for the Marvel superhero movie The Avengers, which cost HK$21.84 million, and the Hong Kong Jockey Club, which spent HK$18.04 million on its horse-racing promotions.

Campaigns by Samsung Electronics were up 192 per cent to HK$216.67 million as it invested in smartphone and media tablet promotions, while Canon's spending advanced 164 per cent to HK$148.24 million to support its new digital camera models.