Print still losing ground to TV, radio

By Emilia Narni J. David, BusinessWorld

Posted at Feb 02 2010 11:04 AM | Updated as of Feb 02 2010 07:04 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Print continues to lose out to television and radio with advertisers spending even more money on broadcast campaigns in the last three months of 2009, a Nielsen study showed.

Overall media spending totalled P52.2 billion in October to December, up 14% from the P45.9 billion recorded in the same period in 2008.

Some three-fourths of the amount, or P38.9 billion, went to television, an increase of 16% from the comparable period last year. Radio, meanwhile, gained 12% to P10.1 billion.

Print, however, saw its share shrink by 3% to P3.1 billion.

Eric V. Barrera, director for client services of Nielsen Media Research, told BusinessWorld in a telephone interview that advertisers were slowly shifting content to a medium deemed as "more mass-based".

"Filipinos are highly into basic goods so there is a more mass-based advertising.
This is not new but the continuing decline of print shows the slow shift of content of advertisers to mass mediums," Mr. Barrera said.

He added that advertisers may be "following media habits of Filipinos who are more into audiovisuals."

TV cornered 75% of advertisers’ media spending, up from 73% a year earlier. Radio saw its share rise one point to 19%, while print went the other way with a percentage point fall to 6%.

Advertisers agreed with the assessment of Nielsen.

"Most advertisers opted for surest way to gain awareness which is TV. Radio showed increase because it’s a cost-efficient medium and reaches people who are more mobile. Consumers also spend less on print. Free media like TV and radio consumed more," said Mitos Borromeo, chairman of the Media Specialists Association of the Philippines.

Margot B. Torres, president of the Philippine Association of National Advertisers, said "TV has national reach and is more efficient. Radio also has wide reach whether stations via satellite or local stations, but print is mainly in Metro Manila."

But print, said Nielsen’s Mr. Barrera, is "not dying."

Mr. Borromeo said: "Print over the last two years have seen national advertising spending decline with consumer goods and telecommunication companies putting up less double digit placements, but there is still support coming from other companies who are targeting upper classes. This is also good for magazines since its target market is the middle and upper class."

The top advertiser during the period was Unilever Philippines, Inc. which spent P5.36 billion, a 15% increase. It was followed by Procter & Gamble Philippines, Inc., whose spending increased 42% to P4.39 billion, and Nestle Philippines, Inc. which kept its outlay at P3 billion.

One of the highest advertisers in the last quarter of 2009 was presidential aspirant Sen. Manuel B. Villar, who was the only individual, at 14th place, in a list of the top 20 advertisers. Mr. Villar spent P543 million from October to December 2009, a 551% increase from last year.

Mr. Villar’s camp could not be contacted for comment.

With the official campaign period for the May 10 elections set to start next week, both Ms. Torres and Mr. Borromeo said ad spending would likely increase.

"[We will see] advertising spending increase this year because advertisers will continue to advertise and political candidates will as well," Ms. Torres said.