Television Broadcasts (TVB) has announced advertising rate card rises averaging 8 per cent for next year. However, the broadcaster's first rate increase in three years is being seen as a tactic to encourage early commitment from advertising agents. TVB said yesterday the new rate card would come into effect from July 1 next year. It is also cutting bonus spots from 30 per cent to 18 per cent, but will not change the 44 per cent discount rate. A media buyer said the new rate card would have little impact on the top four advertising agents in Hong Kong, because those that committed full-year advertising plans to TVB would not be affected by the new price. 'The prices are just similar to those in 2003,' the media buyer said after yesterday's TVB presentation. 'Our clients are usually multinational firms and have marketing plans on a full-year basis. Our only concern is if we have new clients and want to advertise on TVB during the year, they will be affected by the new price.' TVB marketing and sales controller Leung Kin-wah expected the new rate cards to be well received. 'We gave bonus spots of 15 per cent in 2002 and boosted it to 30 per cent as we forecast we would have a soft market this year. So compared with two years ago, the gap is not that much,' he said. Nielsen Media Research said yesterday that television would continue to be the most competitive channel for advertising. It estimated a total of $10.99 million was spent on television advertising in the first nine months, up 5.1 per cent from a year ago. Total advertising spending climbed 6.1 per cent to $25.47 million. Dan Yip, associate director for regional advertising and television measurement at Nielsen Media Research, said: 'The market is picking up and television advertising continues to take the majority share of advertising expenditure.'