Adspend slows as Hong Kong advertisers cut back

Advertising growth across the city slowed to 2% in the third quarter of 2015, as some of Hong Kong's biggest advertisers including P&G and Dairy Farm Group made deep cuts to their advertising budgets.

Data from ad monitoring group admanGo shows P&G, Hong Kong's biggest advertiser, cut its budget to $165.8 million, down 32% from last year while Dairy Farm Group was down 20% year-on-year to $145.4 million.

Cuts to the SK-II and Olay brands were behind P&Gs drop. admanGo said SK-II saw its budgets cut 27% with Olay down 23% year-on-year.

Dairy Farm Group’s Mannings saw a 39% degrease, while adspend for Watson’s Store was slashed 51%. Two other major advertisers A.S. Watson Group and Lion were down 11% and 37% respectively.

Overall, adspend in Q3 of 2015 grew a modest 2% to $11.5 billion. This is in stark comparison to the 8% recorded in 2014.

A surprising increase in free newspapers saw its share of the advertising pie grow 9% year-on-year, the highest among all traditional media.

Not so surprising however was the continued growth of digital and mobile spending, up 33% and 52% respectively when compared with a year ago.

Driving much of the growth in digital and mobile was the banking sector, recording a 45% jump in digital and a 15% jump in mobile spending. The pharmaceuticals and healthcare industries have seen their digital investments surge drastically, up 266% and 71% respectively.

TV's share of the overall pie remained unchanged at 30%.