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Ad spending rebounds after two years in downward spiral

Martin Guo

Editor-in-Chief, Kantar China Insights

TV & Movie 05.02.2018 / 17:30

TV sets in Great Wall 2 col

Ad spending in China finally returns to black after two years in decline: the total spending expands by 4.3% from 2016.

The total rate card ad spending in China* in 2017 increased by 4.3% from a year ago, ending a two-year decline, according to the latest annual data from Media Intelligence, CTR. Traditional media contributed significantly to the rebound.



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Among all traditional media formats, TV reversed its decline in 2016 (-3.7%) to grow 1.7% in 2017 and again was able to contribute to the net growth of total ad spending.

Looking into the details of TV ad spending, we can see that the nationwide air time of TV commercials was still decreasing: after shrinking by 4.4% in 2016 from the previous year, in 2017 it lost a further 4.5%. But the rate card income for TV ad spending reversed to a 1.7% growth, while it was a decrease of 3.7% in 2016.

The performance of channels under China Central TV Station outgrew all other levels of TV channels by a large margin: it grew 31.8%, while those for provincial satellite TV stations and ground stations were almost flat. The total air time of TV commercials on CCTV channels also grew significantly.

Ad spending on radio channels bottomed out after 2015. In 2017, it grew by 6.95% from a year ago. Newspapers and magazines, however, were still in steep downfall: ad spending in newspapers lost 32.5% while magazines lost 18.9%.

In emerging new media formats, the ad spending on screen in lifts and poster in lifts continued to grow stably. As the once high-flying cinema box revenue growth in China evaporated in 2017, the ad spending in cinema pre-roll ads also slowed down, but still in quite remarkable rate compared with other media formats.



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From the advertisers dimension, the top 20 biggest ad buying companies accounted for 20.6% of all ad spending. Among them, P&G continued to rank No.1 even though its spending was down by 18.4%. Hongmao Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, which boosted its spending by 51.3%, ranked second. Coca Cola also increased its ad spending by 27.3% to rank third.

2017 Top 20 厂商

From the brand dimension, the top 20 biggest spending brands accounted for 14.4% of the total market. The top three brands were all from pharmaceutical and healthcare industry: Hongmao Herbal Liquour, Chenliji, Xiangdanqing.   

 2017 Top 20 品牌

Source: CTR

Editor's notes

* For detailed definition of ad spending volume, please check the Chinese version article.

* To know more information, data and analysis of China's advertising market, please contact us.

* Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive news alerts.

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