PCCW claims 'top spender' title in August's advertising campaigns

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 October, 2010, 12:00am

Pushing aggressive marketing campaigns this year, telecommunications giant PCCW became Hong Kong's top advertiser in August after outspending perennial stalwarts HSBC and Mannings.

Media-monitoring firm admanGo estimated PCCW's advertising spending during that month grew 161 per cent year on year to HK$29.65 million, about HK$14 million of which was used to promote its corporate image.

'This was the first time since August 2007 that PCCW had been the city's No 1 advertiser,' an admanGo spokeswoman said yesterday.

The city's biggest telecommunications network operator, which is controlled by Richard Li Tzar-kai, was ranked 14th in advertising in August last year.

A PCCW spokeswoman confirmed that the increased advertising spending was mainly due to the carrier's corporate campaign, which had the slogan 'Today, Tomorrow, Always. Only PCCW'.

Delivered on print, online, television and outdoor advertisements, the campaign 'showed that PCCW has connected consumers in Hong Kong for decades and remains committed to strengthen that bond', the carrier's spokeswoman said.

According to admanGo, the economy's upward momentum kept marketers bullish and helped total advertising spending in Hong Kong in August reach HK$2.58 billion, up from HK$2.26 billion in the same month last year.

Campaigns by companies in the banking and investment services industry led those from other sectors in August, as their spending advanced 17 per cent year on year to HK$265.55 million.

The general improvement in the economy not only allowed PCCW to raise its profile, but also boosted sales at its core fixed-line network, broadband, pay-television and mobile network services.

First-half net profit for the carrier increased 17 per cent to HK$765 million from HK$654 million a year earlier, mostly on the back of increased advertising on Now TV, and its Netvigator broadband and PCCW Mobile services. The firm's core revenue, which excludes its property business, rose 3 per cent to HK$10.732 billion from HK$10.468 billion a year earlier.

After rival Cable TV acquired the broadcast rights for the English Premier League, Now TV responded by heavily promoting a variety of leagues and matches to soccer fans. These include Spain's La Liga, Italy's Serie A, Japan's J League, France's Ligue 1, and the United States' Major League Soccer.

PCCW also widely trumpeted its exclusive rights to all television, internet and mobile phone-based programmes of English Premier League soccer giant Manchester United. Its partnership with the club started on July 15 with 24-hour coverage on Now TV Channel 640.

Advertising spending in the television channels segment remained strong in August, with a 35.48 per cent share worth HK$914.50 million. Newspapers received the next largest share of spending with 31.20 per cent, followed by magazines with 13.92 per cent.

Now TV, the city's leading pay-TV operator, saw its advertising revenue in August climb 130 per cent year on year, compared with 32 per cent for Cable TV, admanGo said.