Newspaper publishers will be happy with the results of a recent survey showing advertisers believe newspapers are the most effective marketing medium in these hard times. The survey by Nielsen Media Research found advertisers expected to spend 17 per cent less this year, given the global financial crisis. The average budget of each advertiser would be HK$17.8 million, against HK$20.4 million last year. 'The banking and financial sectors have suffered the most in the financial crisis,' said Vivian Choi, an associate director at Nielsen. So which media outlets satisfied budget-conscious advertisers the most? More than 17 per cent said newspapers were the most effective medium, ranking them above the internet and television. Newspapers were seen as the most cost-efficient, while the internet demonstrated a good return on investment and was also the most creative medium. In the same survey, 17 per cent of advertisers said television was the least satisfactory medium because of high entry costs. The survey shows companies are simply trying to stay afloat this year rather than looking at long-term investment in their brands. This year, 64 per cent of the respondents said their main aim was to attract new customers, while 58 per cent targeted brand-building campaigns. It's not surprising that advertisers are less satisfied with television as a medium, as they need to carefully calculate their return on investment in the present tough environment. Television this year lost its position as the medium likely to attract the most advertising dollars in budget allocations. It accounted for 22 per cent of the total advertising budget pie this year, down from 28 per cent. This would hurt free-to-air broadcasters like Television Broadcasts and Asia Television, with advertising spending at the two stations expected to fall 5 percentage points. Spending on more technologically savvy high-definition channels will rise 1 percentage point. Newspapers emerged as the most popular platform with about 27 per cent of marketing budgets expected to be allocated to them this year, up from 25 per cent. Free newspapers were expected to gain market share with advertisers placing 14 per cent of their budgets in these publications this year, up from 12 per cent. Paid newspapers were stable at 13 per cent. Outdoor media faced a setback, with 10 per cent of advertisers' budget, from 13 per cent. Internet media was expected to receive 8 per cent of budgets this year, up from 6 per cent. Online media surpassed traditional media such as radio and direct mail as the sixth-largest media platform. Tsai's ATV stake bid advances The Broadcasting Authority has approved rice cracker tycoon Tsai Eng-meng's proposal to take a stake in ATV. It emphasised that ATV was still a Hong Kong broadcaster and all decision-making and programme arrangements were under the management control of staff here. The statement seemed to be indirectly responding to Mr Tsai's aim of setting up a Hong Kong and Taiwan cross-media platform leveraging off his Taipei media assets - China Television and CTI. He had said he wanted to bring Taiwan-produced entertainment variety shows to Hong Kong.