Thai ad spending posts gains

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Bangkok -- Total advertising spending in Thailand hit $1.1 billion in 2000, up 19% from the year before, according to monitoring company Media Data Resources (MDR). The increased media activity indicated an improvement in the country's economy and growth in consumption. According to MDR data, TV remained the top medium with roughly $570 million spent on commercials, up nearly 18% on 1999. However, other media accounted for a higher growth rate in measured ad spend, with newspapers up 26% and outdoor boards ad income 24% higher. Despite the positive outlook for 2001, industry sources caution that the growth trend might not continue at the same rate. "Many major advertisers might take a wait-and-see attitude on their business plans and advertising budgets and may not be as generous as we all wish them to be due to economic and political uncertainties which still prevail," says Parames Rajpaiboon, president of the Advertising Association of Thailand. He says a clearer forecast for the industry could be derived after the first quarter of this year, when the newly elected government under telecom tycoon Thaksin Shinawatra has established itself and its policies.

Copyright January 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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