Malaysian ad spend drops 8%

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The latest Malaysian Adex (advertising expenditure) Report from January to September this year shows a decline of 8.53% to RM 5.8 billion, compared to RM 6.4 billion for Jan-Sept 2016.

This does not include pay tv, and digital which is experiencing double-digit growth.
Industry sources say this is attributed to poor consumer sentiment, the explosion of digital, and cautiousness due to  political uncertainty with the elections looming.
Only radio, cinema and out of home media categories experienced growth, with radio and cinema leading way at 24% and 36% respectively.
How can advertisers plan their advertising if there is no accurate historical data for them to work with?
We asked a few media players in the industry for their opinions on this and the multiple media currencies being used….
“Yes, I do wish we had better data that reflected the true health of the industry. However, that requires an entire industry ecosystem to come together and develop a common will,” says Prashant Kumar, Senior Partner at ENTROPIA.
Ms Lam Swee Kim, Chief Marketing Officer at, comments, “One should ask if this is aligned with audited or published annual revenue. There seems to be disparity. Unless there is accurate reporting, there will never be a true picture of Adex. There are also many factors to consider when planning: is this the most effective media for my target audience, and does it help my brand?”
Farrah Harith-McPherson, General Manager of BBDO Malaysia adds, “It is indeed a disservice to Malaysian marketeers that media such as pay TV and Digital are not tracked. We know from first hand experience that clients are shifting the proportion of their spend more to platforms which provide quality engagement with their consumers and also give them access to a quality audience.”
“The problem in markets like Malaysia is, that for every client who does delve into the more experiential digital channels, there are also those who are apprehensive without the data to back it. So there is a bit of a ‘wait and see approach’ and agencies need the support of the channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc., to share their own data and success stories of how other brands have shown an improvement in brand lift for example, in order to convince them to try.”
“BBDO is lucky as a lot of our clients embrace new innovations in tech and digital and work with us and our partners to provide consumers with interesting and different experiences online. A good example is the work we have done with Mercedes Benz for the Instadrive activation, an Instastories campaign which put consumers in the driver’s seat on their phone, yielding a 220% increase in test drive requests vs the previous campaign.”
We welcome your thoughts at [email protected]

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