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Marketers Ramping Up Online Advertising Budget With Print Media Most Affected

Forty-two percent of advertisers indicated an increase in advertising spend in 2014, with internet advertising accounting for much of this growth, according to the latest survey on advertising spending projections by the Hong Kong Advertisers Association (HK2A) and Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy.

“Digital and online advertising is growing in importance in the marketing and media mix,” said Wanda Gill, Vice President, WATCH, Nielsen Hong Kong. “Marketers will need the support of advertising and media agencies to deliver optimal integrated solutions across offline and online media and they need better tools to gauge return on investment.”

According to the latest survey conducted by Nielsen and HK2A, Hong Kong marketers’ sentiment toward the global economy has improved, at 35 percent in 2014, up from 17 percent in 2013. Those who believed the global economy is getting worse declined from 53 percent in 2013 to 27 percent in 2014. More than half of respondents (52%) feel optimistic about their own company’s performance as a result of the brighter global economic outlook.  However, increases in operation costs (60%) and the local economic downturn (57%) remained the top two major economic concerns among respondents.

Eighty-two percent of marketers indicated that they would increase their advertising budgets by  6 % or more  – a 7-percentage-point increase from 2013. In terms of budget allocation, several facets of online advertising experienced growth within the marketing mix: Internet display ads (8%), social media (8%), paid search (3%) and search engine optimization (2%). Social media and mobile social media continued to be considered the hottest trends in advertising (74%), followed by online video advertising (42%) and mobile apps (37%).

For traditional media, television (18%) and newspapers (19%) received the largest allocation of advertising spending, while budget allocations for magazine advertising dropped from 12 percent to 7 percent.

With the anticipation on new Free TV channels and mobile TV, 17 percent of respondents would increase their TV budget while four-out-of-five (79%) marketers would keep their budgets at current level. Current free-to-air TV budget would be more affected in budget reallocation consideration. While more than one-third are indecisive, nearly half (47%) of marketers will fund new free TV players with existing free-to-air TV budgets, and 34 percent for new mobile TV. Two-out-of-five (21%) marketers would shift current online/ mobile budget to new mobile TV players.

“While some marketers will provide additional funding to support digital marketing, the shift to digital will be more at the expense of the print media relative to other conventional advertising or marketing channels,” said Gill.

“Marketers are positive about 2014 and ready to invest in advertising spending,” said Raymond Ho, chairman of HK2A. “The fragmented media market and increasing media costs are challenging marketers like never before. We hope our ad spend projections will shed some light on the latest trends and best practices.”

About the Survey on Advertising Spending and Projections 2014

The survey covered various commercial sectors including top-spending advertisers and concentrated on both their planned advertising spending and business focuses in 2014. The survey enters the 15th consecutive year in 2014 and is HK2A’s annual endeavor. Around 100 self-administered questionnaires were received from key advertisers and screened for final analysis, which provide timely reference on the trends of advertising expenditure, media selection and planning, and the media landscape for 2014.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA, and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit

About HK2A

HK2A is a non-profit organization formed by a volunteer group of advertising and marketing professionals. The key objectives of the Association are to protect the legitimate interests of advertisers and promote higher professional standards and ethics in the advertising industry.