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Revenue of CCTV ad auction grows in economic barometer

REVENUE raised during the annual presale auction for China Central Television's prime-time advertising slots climbed higher from last year and remained generally stable, the state television broadcaster said yesterday, without releasing the total figures.

Food and beverages, home appliances and automobiles were the three largest categories in this year's bidding, CCTV said in a statement on its website yesterday.

A total of 23 packages were auctioned yesterday.

The CCTV prime-time commercial bidding is regarded by many as a barometer of China's economic vitality and its growth rate has been slowing in the past few years.

Last year, the auction hauled in a total of 15.88 billion yuan, up 11.4 percent year-on-year, which is lower than the 12.5 percent growth rate in 2012 and 15.5 percent rate in 2011.

As many as 178 advertising slots have been ordered during the presale period from September 17 to October 31, said He Haiming, director of CCTV's advertising operations and management center, in a statement yesterday.

"CCTV has the power of reach and influence that no other channel in China can match, and it is a medium that all major advertisers must invest in for the success of their brands or products on a national scale given the cost efficiency and brand impact it could bring," said Adil Zaim, chief executive officer of media planning and buying agency Carat China, who was in Beijing for the bidding yesterday.

"TV still remains the dominant force in advertising and communications and it is expected to maintain this position in China for now, given it is still the most measurable and cost efficient mass medium available to major advertisers," he added.

Big spenders in this year's auction include drinks maker JDB Group, home appliance retailer Gome and e-commerce giant Tmall.

"Advertisers are becoming cautious when trying to secure advertising slots on CCTV, although they're still showing confidence in the Chinese economy, and the growth trend is generally in line with China's overall advertising market," said Li Guangdou, a veteran advertising expert who heads an independent brand consultancy in Beijing.

China's total advertising spending growth is expected to slow from that of last year, but it is set to pick up in 2014 with economic stabilization, media investment firm GroupM said in a report earlier this year.

GroupM predicted a 10.7 percent annual growth this year and 11.8 percent for the next year with TV taking the dominant portion of 48 percent of overall ad expenditures in 2014.


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