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November 19, 2009

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Dairies battle it out as CCTV ad space auction sets a record

CHINA Central Television auctioned off its 2010 advertising spots for a record 10.96 billion yuan (US$1.61 billion) last night, an 18 percent increase from 2009.

The average price of CCTV ad space rose more than 20 percent from 2009, according to Xia Hongbo, head of the network's ad division, without revealing specific figures.

Hong Kong-listed Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd, a major dairy products manufacturer and distributor, defeated Shanghai-based competitor Bright Dairy & Food Co as sole sponsor of CCTV's popular drama series between 8pm and 10pm for the first half of next year. It paid 203.9 million yuan for those spots -- the highest price of the auction.

"The competition this year between leading companies was much fiercer, which promotes the development of the whole industry," Xia said.

Mengniu, based in Hohhot in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, sold a 20 percent stake in July to a consortium led by state-owned China National Oils, Foodstuffs and Cereals Corp, China's largest importer and exporter of food. That sale made the state the single largest shareholder.

The sole sponsorship for evening prime-time TV shows during the second half of next year sold for 128 million yuan to Zhejiang Province-based Nice Group, which specializes in washing and oral care products.

Guangdong Province-based electronics maker Midea Group won sponsorship of the well-watched Spring Festival live gala for 52.01 million yuan.

Hangzhou-based Zhongce Rubber Co Ltd, China's biggest state-owned tire maker, paid 47.2 million yuan for ad space appearing before the 7pm CCTV news, compared with the 43.3 million yuan paid last year by Juren Group.

Chinese Lang, a domestic liquor producer, paid 33.3 yuan million to sponsor a 2010 World Cup show on the CCTV sports channel and 110 million yuan to be sole sponsor of the annual Young Singers Competition.

More emerging industries joined the fray this year. Advertisers from the home decoration industry posted the best percentage gains by doubling their previous ad purchases.

The home appliance sector enjoyed 80 percent growth, and the auto industry jumped more than 70 percent in ad buys.

Domestic advertisers are eager to bid for CCTV ad space as they consider it the leading network in China, said Sally Deng, an account executive at the Ogilvy ad agency.

CCTV now has 14 channels broadcasting throughout China and holds about 32 percent of the TV market in terms of total penetration.


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