Fine print: Govt ad spend shifts to new media

Written by Diksha Dutta | Diksha Dutta | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 20 2012, 07:26am hrs
The government is getting savvier when it comes to advertising and investing in all the popular media while planning to accelerate its spend in mobile and new media. With the portfolio no longer confined to print, the expenditure on advertisements in other media is surging ahead while that in print has not seen a similar growth.

Of the R750-crore government advertising during fiscal 2010-11, a major component was devoted to the audio-visual medium, along with outdoor publicity. In fact, the spend on audio visual publicity has now caught up with the expenses incurred on print advertisements. The expenditure on audio-visual publicity has more than doubled in 2010-11 to R350 crore from R125 crore in 2005-06, while that in print has just staggered to R350 crore in FY11 from R250 crore in FY06.

The advertising spend by ministries on audio-visual mediums has increased at a rate of 180% over the last five years, while the expenses on traditional media like print has increased by a relatively lower rate of 40%. The component of outdoor publicity expenditure has also increased in the recent times.

In keeping pace with generation next, the directorate of advertising and visual publicity (DAVP) is now planning to accelerate its spend on mobile and new media advertising as well. In sync with the media industry trends, we see huge potential in mediums like outdoor publicity along with audio and visual advertising. Thus, even though our expenditure on print advertising is stable, we have started investing seriously in audio, visual, new media and are even looking at mobile advertising, said KS Dhatwalia, additional director general, DAVP, the central agency that undertakes all multimedia advertising and publicity for various ministries and departments of the Central government.

During the financial year 2010-11, DAVP spent R750 crore on advertising, which included a mix of print, audio visual, outdoor, below the line (BTL) advertising and events. The component of print spend has now come down to 46% of the total expenditure from 62.5% in fiscal 2005-06. On the contrary, the audio visual component has increased from 31% to 46% during the same period. The ministry has also become cautions with the way it advertises with newspapers. We have started selecting our specific pages in newspapers to display the advertisements. We negotiate for the appropriate print space, said Dhatwalia.

The annual expenditure of DAVP on advertising has been increasing at a rate of 10-15%. According to the Netscribes, a global enterprise research, market intelligence and content solutions firm, the Indian advertising market was R23,600 crore in 2010 and was expected to grow at a rate of 17.4% to R27,700 crore by 2011.

Currently, advertising through television represents the largest segment of the Indian advertising market with a 44.5% share of the overall market, followed by print advertising with a 42.4% share. Outdoor advertising comprises about 5.9% of the market, radio advertising about 3.8% and internet about 3.0%. DAVP is taking outdoor publicity, like hoardings, very seriously and hiring monitoring agencies to track the locations for outdoor advertisements. The agency has engaged these agencies to check hoardings and photographs placed in different locations through GPRS as the ministries want to ensure that the advertising agencies are putting their advertisements at appropriate places and sites.