Thai rate cards to finally rise

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BANGKOK - Advertising rates at many media companies will undergo a modest rise in January for the first time since 1997, when the country was hit by the Asian economic crisis and plunged the local ad industry into a deep abyss.

Rate increases are aimed at offsetting high production costs, but relatively sluggish consumer demand is still forcing most companies to keep the increases small, says an analyst at Initiative Media, the media specialist arm of Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide.

Last month, public TV Channels 3 and 7 raised their rates to $8,370 per minute for commercials on prime-time evening slots. Previously, Channel 7 had charged $6,980 and Channel 3 invoiced $7,670 per minute.

"Since consumer spending has yet to return to pre-crisis levels, selling commercial airtime to cautious advertisers remains a challenge," says Pramote Chokesirikulchai, exec-VP of BEC World, operator of Channel 3.

Among the print media, the country's biggest-selling Thai-language daily newspaper, "Thai Rath", has planned a modest increase in its display rates of 7 percent or $2.30 per column inch.

"Radio airtime rates will remain flat at between $35 to $45 per 30-second spot. There are currently no plans for increase that I would be aware of," says Chokesirikulchai of BEC World, who is also managing director of U&I Corp., which operates five radio stations.

Copyright December 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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