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China sees ad boom

HONG KONG — China’s advertising industry had a golden year in 1993 , with advertising expenditures rising over 40% in an otherwise flat world market, Saatchi & Saatchi’s Beijing representative said Wednesday.

But endemic corruption, different ad rates for locals and foreigners and a backlash against foreign encroachment in the industry are setting back companies wishing to tap the booming consumer market, said Lynda Graham, managing director of Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising in China.

“Five of the top 10 countries in (ad) growth are Asian countries … but clearly out of all the countries in the world, China led with a massive figure of over 40%,” Graham told an American Chamber of Commerce audience during a Wednesday presentation.

She said that in the final tally for 1993, worldwide growth was a nominal 4%. When adjusted for inflation, it shrank 4.3%.

Real advertising growth is expected to continue at 40% for China in 1994, but advertising rates are expected to decline, Graham said.

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