SPENDING ON advertisements went up by a fifth in the first half as broadcasters hiked rates and consumer products slugged it out with politicians for paid airtime.
But more ads went to radio, which has surged in recent years as audience measurement data became available, while print managed to keep its share of the pie because of election placements.
Data from media research firm Nielsen showed that ad spending, based on published rate cards, hit P108.6 billion in January to June, up by 19% from last year on higher outlays by government agencies and political candidates, personal care products and detergents.
Television accounted for 74% of total ad spending, while radio took 21% of the pie and print stayed at 5%. Compared with the same period last year, TV shed one percentage point in favor of radio.
Volume went up by 9% to 5.09 million advertising spots, with radio and print gaining by 12% and 3%, respectively, at the expense of TV which lost 5%. Radio minutes also rose by 13% while TV was down by 7%.
Advertisers are said to be flocking to radio as it is a "mobile medium." Filipinos also tend to stick to one radio station, unlike in television where viewers "surf channels," said Jay G. Bautista, executive director for media of The Nielsen Co. (Philippines), Inc.
"Radio is going to grow. It still has a lot of capacity [for advertisements]," Mr. Bautista told BusinessWorld. The radio market is dominated by Manila Broadcasting Co., ABS-CBN Corp., Radio Mindanao Network, and GMA Network, Inc., with revenues split equally between AM and FM stations.
On television, 95% of ads went to free channels and the rest to cable, unchanged from last year. Product placements within TV programs themselves are growing as networks maximize ad revenues from limited airtime. But product placements on ABS-CBN shows outpaced those on GMA Network four-to-one, Nielsen data showed.
Taking out the almost triple increase in political ads, spending still rose by a tenth as firms like Unilever Philippines, Inc. and Procter & Gamble Philippines, Inc. hiked their budgets to introduce new products.
Colgate-Palmolive Philippines, Inc. began placing ads on ABS-CBN instead of only GMA Network previously, amid a business spat with the SM retail group that took off Colgate toothpastes and Palmolive soaps and shampoos off supermarket shelves last year. Colgate doubled spending on toothpaste ads while rivals Unilever and Procter & Gamble hiked budgets for detergents and shampoos by more than half.
Ice cream ads went up by three-quarters amid the dry spell caused by El Niño. But food manufacturers and pharmaceutical firms retreated, particularly from the February-to-May election campaign period, to avoid the "clutter" of political ads, Mr. Bautista said.
Telcos barely moved as they have been shifting to nontraditional advertising to keep mobile subscribers, Mr. Bautista said. Moreover, TV networks ABS-CBN and GMA were said to be now charging Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) standard rates, instead of discounted ones, since the PLDT group’s acquisition of TV5 last year.
ABS-CBN and GMA Network declined to comment.
Local advertising has largely been spared by the global economic downturn considering the Philippine market is dominated by fast-moving consumer goods, Mr. Bautista said.
"In the second half, more of those who held back in the first half will start spending again -- pharmaceuticals, beverages. Consumer confidence is on the rise and people have a more positive outlook," he said.
Mediaquest Holdings, Inc., a unit of the Beneficial Trust Fund of PLDT, has a minority stake in BusinessWorld.