Ad Age Photos From China's TV Upfront

Inside the Colorful World of CCTV Media Selling

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Every year China's national broadcaster CCTV raises 60% of its ad revenue in a strange and colorful day-long auction in Beijing. On Nov. 18, AdAgeChina Editor Normandy Madden sat in the front row with Alfonso de Dios, the Procter & Gamble associate director of media, Greater China, who is nicknamed "King of the Auction" because P&G is the biggest spender.

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Photography by Normandy Madden

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BEIJING ( -- Above left: P&G's Alfonso de Dios (holding the marketer's lucky auction number 863) makes a bid, flanked by Amy Ballis, Starcom's agency-of-record director for P&G, Greater China; Roy Kong, media director for P&G at Starcom, Guangzhou; and Jason Lai, P&G's senior media manager, Greater China. Above right: Jack Klues, chairman-media at Publicis Groupe; Philip Talbot, CEO, Asia/Pacific, ZenithOptimedia; Philip Beck, CEO, China Media Exchange; Robert Kirkpatrick, VP-global media, Colgate-Palmolive.

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Starcom's Ms. Ballis (above left) makes a silent bid at the auction. Above right: CCTV hires game show-like applause prompters to encourage the audience to clap throughout the 10-hour auction.

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Above left: CCTV celebrities and news anchors host the auction. Above right: The packed house room waits for the next bid.

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'Auction king' Mr. De Dios (above left) about to enter the auction, held at a Beijing hotel owned by CCTV next to the broadcaster's headquarters. Above right: Starcom's Ms. Ballis; Paul Maher, Starcom CEO, Greater China; and Mr. De Dios and P&G's Mr. Lai arrive early for the auction, which starts at 8:18 a.m. because "8" is considered the luckiest number in China.

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