US Insights

China Ad Spending Stalls in 2018

Martin Guo

Editor-in-Chief, Kantar China Insights

Brands 02.19.2019 / 09:00

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Ad spending slowed significantly in the second half of 2018.

The total rate card ad spending in China* in 2018 increased by 2.9% from a year ago, according to the latest annual data from Media Intelligence, CTR. Ad spending slowed down significantly in second half, after it jumped by 9.3% in first half.



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Media



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The total spending on traditional media slipped by 1.5% from 2018, with radio being the main growth engine which grew by 5.9% and only 1 percentage point slower than in 2017. Among all TV stations, channels under China Central TV Station and provincial satellite TV stations managed to grow, while provincial ground TV stations and provincial capitals’ city stations all suffered sizable declines.



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Among living space media (including screens and posters in lifts as well as cinema pre-roll ads), screens and posters in lifts maintained momentum as both formats recorded higher growth rate than in 2017. Th growth for cinema pre-rolls slowed down to 18.8%.

Ad buying industries

From the advertiser perspective, the top five biggest buying industries are: post and telecommunications, beverage, drug/healthcare, food and commercial services. Only beverage (+3.8%) and food (+1.1%) industries spent more last year compared with 2017.



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Brands

Coca Cola was China’s largest advertising buying company, followed by Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals Corp and P&G. Among the top 10 advertising companies, five were drug/healthcare companies. 

CN 2018 Top 20 Ad Buying Companies

Hongmao Herbal Liquor was still the biggest ad buying brand in China, even though it cut its ad spending by half due to high-profile challenges about its products on traditional and social media throughout the majority of 2018. It was followed by other two drug/pharmaceutical brands Tongyitang (73.5%) and Gehong (68.6%). Among the top 10 brands, five were drug/pharmaceutical brands.

CN 2018 Top 20 Ad Buying Brands

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.

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