Malaysian Adex To Hold Up In 2009

In News, Online on December 3, 2008 at 2:30 pm


(Pix from

There’s always some difficulty in relating the Advertising Expenditure (Adex) that are collapsing in the US and UK to the Malaysian market. In the print industry over there, every other day spells another dip in revenue for major papers, with even more disastrous news expected in 2009.

In Malaysia, however, there’s a different outlook for the 2009 Adex–and one that the print industry would be happy to learn. I was hearing this from this gem of a podcast produced by BFM 89.9, where the host interviewed Andrea Douglas and Sarah Liew of Nielsen Media. As predicted by the Economist, the advertising market in general was expected to rise in 2008 due to the major sporting events, but “some ad-men expect the knife to cut most deeply in 2009.” 

According to Andrea Douglas, the Executive Director of Nielsen Media, the Malaysian Adex of 2008 is expected to come up to about RM6 billion, about 11% more than 2007. “Next year, however, is a little bit of an unknown,” she says. “What’s happening now is that there’s been a decline in advertising growth, but it’s more in the developed markets, and there, they’re in static or negative growth.”

In Asia Pacific, including Malaysia, there’s still very strong growth that’s expected to continue, although not at the 11% rate. Compared to the global market where TV advertising is the biggest part of the pie, in Malaysia, it’s print advertising that’s the biggest, taking up 55% of the Adex, followed by free-to-air TV at 35%, radio at 5%.

So where does New Media advertising come in all this? Well, it’s just a paltry “almost 1%”, but it’s climbing up. This is another Malaysian anomaly, where the global average of Internet ad spending constitutes about 10%, and in the UK can go up to 19% of the budget. “It isn’t mature yet,” she says of the web penetration here, “so we can’t say that there’ll be a big shift initially.”

It’s definitely refreshing to hear that ad budgets will actually increase here, but the little figure used for Internet ad spend can be a little disheartening, having used to reading all these optimistic figures from the Western front.

Then again, that just means we’re at the nascent stage of Internet advertising, and there’s only one way to go: Up. Broadband penetration may not be prevalent for now (about 18%), but within 4 or 5 years, who knows? Coupled with the fast-maturing mobile web, we could be facing the same situation the UK and US are experiencing online. Just be prepared for the wave when it comes.

  1. […] start making the “almost 1%” digital spending in the forecasted RM6 bllion Malaysian Adex to “a little over 1%” in […]

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