In the first quarter of 1997, total billing reached $420 million, an 11% increase over the same period in 1996. Billings in the second quarter rose by 7.4% but by the third quarter growth slowed to just 1.9%. Although final figures for the fourth quarter are not yet in, the period almost certainly saw negative growth, with Mr. Lingchongsubongkoj noting a dramatic drop in campaign launches.
A major development in the industry in 1997 was the widespread use of agency discounts. Few if any Thai agencies now charge the international professional standard fee of 17.65% of the media budget. "They are killing each other," Vinit Surapongchai, managing director of Damask/ BBDO, says of the price war.
Copyright January 1998, Crain Communications Inc.