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Ad rule may profit print media
( 2004-01-05 10:23) (eastday.com)

The print media such as newspapers and magazines may benefit from a possible growing advertising revenue due to a government decision, which curbed ad time on Chinese television channels during the 7 to 9pm prime period.

From January 1, commercials should not take up more than 15 percent, or equivalent to 18 minutes, of the prime time broadcast, said the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

"We are considering the purchase of more print ads when the ad times are reduced on television," said Jacques Dong, associate buying director of MindShare. The company is the media-buying arm of J.Walter Thompson/Bridge Advertising Co Ltd and Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Ltd, two of the world's leading ad agencies.

"Although television is the best platform for our clients to get to consumers, the off-peak period for advertising is far less attractive since very few people watch TV in the morning or in the afternoon.

A more efficient way, however, is to turn to other media," said Dong, who declined to reveal his company's advertising budget.

In the first eight months of 2003, advertisers spent only 26.3 billion yuan (US$3.17 billion) on domestic newspapers and bought advertisement worth of 2.3 billion yuan on Chinese magazines.

TV stations, in the same period, attracted 92.6 billion yuan, or 76 percent of the total advertising value, according to Nielsen Media Research.

"The new rule will deal a heavy blow to the profits of TV stations," said Yu Zhenwei, an advertising professor at Fudan University. "The TV stations' ad income came mostly from prime-time commercials."

Previously, a single 45-minute prime-time TV series could have up to 15 minutes of advertising, which continually disrupted the ongoing program.

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