Russian TV ad market rebounds

TV ads up by 4% in January, February

LONDON — Television advertising in Russia is beginning to bounce back after sharp falls last year.

Figures for the first two months of 2010 released by Video International, the country’s biggest media advertising group, show television ads up by 4% in rouble terms to 14.6 billion roubles ($497 million) compared with the same two months last year.

Television advertising in Russia in rouble terms fell overall by 18% last year compared with 2008 with sharper falls for press (down 43%), outdoor (down 41%) and radio advertising (down 36%). Internet advertising, however, was up 8%.

The recovering — of a market that leapt from 20th biggest in Europe in 2003 to sixth place in 2008 when it was worth $5.5 billion — is being lead by advertising for financial services, mobile telephones, household appliances and cleaning products, VI’s analysis shows.

The company is predicting double-digit growth of between 10% and 15% in the second sector and foresees a return next year to the buoyant advertising market experienced in 2008 before the financial crisis.

“The collapse of the media advertising market in 2009 was not as deep as thought,” Anton Charkin, a spokesman for VI said.

“Television advertising should return next year to levels last seen in 2008 — its best year ever in Russia.”

The figures are beginning to be reflected in financial returns from Russian television networks.

CTC Media, Russia’s leading commercial broadcaster, saw advertising revenue grow in the first quarter by 18% from $99 million last year to nearly $117 million this year.

The company said that 90% of advertising inventory for 2010 was already booked.

Profits for the first quarter up 8% from $23 million to $25 million.

Revenue was up 18% to $123 million for the quarter but increased operating expenses of $87 million (up 27% from $68 million) cut into that.

Anton Kudryashov, CTC’s CEO said: “The Russian TV advertising market has stabilized and is growing again, which reflects the increasing demand from domestic and international advertisers.”

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