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Emerging markets lead adspend recovery

LONDON - Emerging markets toughed out the global advertising downturn with far more success than established ones and look set for another year of strong growth in 2002 with China leading the way, according to research.

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Globally, adspend in 2001 fell by 5%, according to the survey by Nielsen Media Research, and by 7% in developed markets. However, spending in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and Thailand grew by about 15%.

Nielsen's research also shows that adspend in China rocketed in 2001, moving it up from the 10th-largest advertiser in the world to equal third alongside the UK and Germany. According to estimates, $11bn (£7.5bn) was spent on advertising in China last year, with local advertisers rather than Western marketers feeding the growth.

"If China were to continue growing at its present rate, we estimate that it could overtake Japan as the world's second-largest advertising economy by the end of the decade," Ian Garland, managing director of product marketing and development for Nielsen Media Research, said.

For the coming year, Nielsen predicts a rebound in global advertising in the second half of the year, leading to full-year growth of 2%. US adspend had seen "early signs of life", with a 1.8% recovery in the first quarter.

"There are really two distinct worlds -- developed and emerging -- that shape the global advertising economy. Although the United States is by far the world's largest ad market, what happens here can't always be taken as an indicator for global advertising on the whole," Garland said.

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