TV tops MENA advertising spend

TV ad revenues improved in the first half of 2009, claims report.
Analysis, Broadcast Business

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New report finds brands increased their investments in TV advertising in the first half of 2009.

Advertisers pumped 40 percent more revenue into pan-regional media in the first six months of 2009 compared to the same period last year, a Pan Arab Research Centre (PARC) report has indicated.

The increase is in spite of a decline in the MENA region’s top three advertising markets: the UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Egypt.

The report also demonstrated a 73 percent increase in pan-regional advertising spend compared to the same period in 2007.

While newspapers and magazines both demonstrated a slight decline in total advertising revenue compared to the first half of last year, television demonstrated a marked increase.

The UAE still attracts the largest amount of advertising spend in the region despite suffering a decline of 26 percent compared to the first half of 2008. The KSA ad market shrunk by five percent and Egypt narrowly missed escaping the red zone with a drop of three percent.

“Advertisers seem to be focusing more on stations like MBC and Fox Movies, which are broadcast right across the MENA region,” said Elie Jichi, operations and production manager, PARC.

He also pointed out that there was a change in the type of industries that were investing more in advertising.

“Last year was a big year for advertising, especially in the UAE, up until the winter period,” he commented.

“Many companies in the property and construction sectors were spending a lot on advertising, now, government organisations and telcos are the top spenders.”

In the UAE television sector, state-owned telco Etisalat was the largest advertiser with Hydra, Watani-UAE, du and Family Forum making up the remainder of the top five.

The top three pan-Arab television advertisers named in the report were Head and Shoulders, Dabur and Saudi Telecom.

Regional radio advertising has not performed as well as television advertising in 2009. However, overall spending is set to continue to rise with only two of the top ten radio advertisers spending less than they did last year.

Telcos are the highest contributors to radio advertising revenue in the Middle East and North Africa.

Etisalat was the largest single pan-Arab radio advertiser in the first half of 2009.

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