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Media: Comment - Put those party hats on, Asia's adspend set to sizzle in 2005

At this time of year, many of us are contemplating the end of another year of hard and, hopefully, rewarding work, with a bit of well-earned seasonal cheer. Some of you are also thinking of the year ahead and the financial commitments that you have wisely or unwisely made to your CFO.

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The good news is that ZenithOptimedia has looked into the future and we are predicting a continuation of the impressive growth that the Asia-Pacific advertising market has shown over the last few years.

Every quarter, ZenithOptimedia updates its global advertising forecasts, culminating in an end-of-year presentation to many leading financial analysts in New York. This is where we are invited to review the past year and provide advertising forecasts for the forthcoming year and beyond. Not surprisingly, there was a lot of focus on Asia at last week's conference.

ZenithOptimedia is predicting that in 2004, global advertising expenditure will have soared 6.9 per cent year-on-year to US$370 billion. An increase of $24 billion. An exceptional year fuelled by the return of double-digit corporate profits at long last and a higher-than-forecast global economic growth of 4.7 per cent.

Within all of this, Asia-Pacific is a key driver with advertising expenditure estimated to have grown 8.5 per cent to $75.6 billion in 2004. At current rates of growth, we forecast that Asia will eclipse Europe within 10 years.

This is more remarkable because Japan represents half of all advertising in Asia and is growing well below the regional and worldwide average.

The star in all of this is China. Already a $9 billion advertising market, it currently is the same size as Italy. We expect China to be a $12 billion market in 2006 (larger than France) and to double by 2011, when it will overtake the UK and Germany to be the world's third-largest ad market after the US and Japan.

In the league table of the fast-growing markets, Asia tops the chart, and of the top 10 fastest-growing advertising markets Asia takes five of the top seven slots, with Indonesia leading the world with a massive 49 per cent growth in advertising spending in 2004 versus 2003, followed by India with 30 per cent, Malaysia 20 per cent, and China 18 per cent and Thailand on 17 per cent.

But it is not all good news. As I am sure some of you know, the worst performance comes from Korea, which tops the worst-performing market chart with a year-on-year decline of 5.5 per cent. The good news is that we are projecting positive growth in 2006.

So, there you have it. You can all now relax, put on your party hats with the reassurance that 2005 will be another buoyant year. All you have to do now is make sure you know where the growth is coming from and make sure you get your fair share.

This article was first published on Media Asia

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