Chinese brands hold back spending on ads

Chinese brands across categories are holding back on advertising spending in India, especially on traditional media platforms such as television and print, media buyers said.

The advertising go-slow comes after smartphone brand Vivo’s exit from Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 as the tournament’s title sponsor owing to growing anti-China sentiment.

According to media buyers, smartphone firms Vivo, Oppo, Realme and Xiaomi have cut down on the number of ad spot purchases on television and print. These firms together spent around 1,500 crore on advertising in 2019.

Dinesh Rathod, chief executive at media agency Madison Media Omega, said Chinese brands were active spenders even during the incursions in Ladakh in May and June but they put a stop to advertising as anti-China feelings grew.

“Vivo pulled out of the title sponsorship of IPL and probably on-air sponsorship, too. The trend may continue and we will see fewer Chinese brands on big properties like Kaun Banega Crorepati compared to previous years,” he added.

Smartphones are the hottest category with investments of 2,500-2,700 crore annually. It has the largest share of roughly 4% of the overall Indian advertising expenditure, which was expected to touch 75,952 crore by 2020according to estimates put out before the covid outbreak. On second spot are home appliances firm Haier and technology brand Lenovo.

Emails sent to these firms on their advertising plans remained unanswered.

“Most of these brands are on red alert and therefore decided to lie low and wait for the situation to evolve,” said Sandeep Goyal, chairman, Mogae Media, a Mumbai-based marketing and communication agency.

Firms with substantial Chinese investment, such as e-learning platform Byju’s and online food ordering sites Swiggy and Zomato, have been promoting themselves on digital platforms, which are cost-effective and have high return on investment.-Livemint

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