Football and property slowdown may hit first-half sales figure Hong Kong advertisers spent 8.3 per cent more last month than in May last year, a figure held down by clients deferring key campaigns until next month to avoid competing with this month's Fifa World Cup football tournament. According to Nielsen Media Research figures, local advertising spending reached $4.09 billion on a pre-discount basis, up 1.7 per cent from April's level or 8.3 per cent on a yearly basis. Local advertising spending rebounded after it declined in April from March levels. However, market watchers expect first-half spending will only match last year's pace after deducting discounts to clients, thanks to an absence of launches of big new property projects and to the World Cup. Last month's growth was driven mainly by entertainment advertisements, including those for movies and television operators which boosted spending to $150 million, up 43 per cent from last year's level. Advertisements from banks, up 21 per cent and retailers, up 30 per cent, also buoyed the results. 'The entertainment sector spent more as blockbuster movies like The Da Vinci Code and X-Men launched last month,' said Vivian Choi, Nielsen Media Research Hong Kong's associate director. 'Their spending accounted for half of the total,' Female skin product and mobile communication companies reduced their budgets last month by 29.6 per cent and 25.5 per cent, respectively. HSBC topped the list as biggest spender on $77.9 million, up 172 per cent on last year. The bank launched new campaigns for credit cards, personal finance and investment products last month in a bid to boost growth. Television Broadcasts, one of the largest media owners in Hong Kong, was the second-biggest spender. The broadcaster spent $63 million last month for its pay television channel TVB Pay Vision's operations. Fast food chain store McDonald's was the only advertiser in the top-10 list to cut its budget in May. The chain spent $27 million or 29 per cent less than in the same period last year.