Confidence in economy could spur greater ad spending in HK

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 February, 2014, 1:14am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 February, 2014, 5:15am

Hong Kong could see a banner year in advertising spending, with marketers more positive about the economy and planning to increase their television, newspaper and digital platform campaigns.

That rosy outlook was the highlight of the latest survey conducted by the Hong Kong Advertising Association and market-measurement firm Nielsen on the spending projections this year of about 100 key advertising and marketing executives in the city.

Association chairman Raymond Ho Wai-ming said yesterday: "Marketers are positive and ready to invest in advertising."

Of those polled, 42 per cent expect to increase their advertising budget, 49 per cent will keep it unchanged and 9 per cent cut spending.

Last year's survey showed only 31 per cent wanted to spend more, 48 per cent did not see any changes in their budget, while 21 per cent would cut their campaigns.

Wanda Gill, the vice-president at Nielsen Hong Kong's Watch research business, said "more marketers are confident about the global economy", with those expecting improved prospects rising to 35 per cent from 17 per cent last year.

Ho said 57 per cent of respondents saw opportunities from the continued influx of mainland tourists and 36 per cent from government policies which supported the entry of more visitors from second-tier cities across the border.

In terms of budget allocation, television received an average share of 18 per cent, while free and paid newspapers combined for 19 per cent. Outdoor advertising had 10 per cent and magazines 7 per cent.

About 17 per cent of respondents said they would boost their television spending as they anticipated the launch of new free-to-air terrestrial channels and mobile television this year.

Gill said digital advertising was growing in importance, pointing out that the average budget allocation for both internet display and social media was 8 per cent. Mobile advertising had 6 per cent and paid online search 3 per cent.

"The shift to digital will be more at the expense of the print media relative to other marketing channels," she said.

Despite the conservative outlook by marketers last year, advertising expenditure in Hong Kong still advanced 9 per cent to a record HK$43.1 billion from HK$39.6 billion in 2012, according to data released by media-monitoring firm admanGo.