The Media Agency Association of Thailand (MAAT) will develop a media inflation reference to set a standard for the advertising industry.
Recently media agencies set their own media inflation rates based on different calculation methods. The rate differentiation affected the efficiency of media planning for clients because it did not reflect the real economic environment.
The major factors influencing media inflation are rising ad rates and changing consumer behaviour.
The MAAT will calculate media inflation and release the reference rate on its website every six months so Thai media agencies can use it when planning media consumption for clients, said president Wannee Ruttanaphon.
Rathakorn Suebsuk, a member of the MAAT committee, said the media inflation reference is calculated from 367 TV programmes on six free TV channels excluding live broadcasts and late night programmes from 2-5am.
MAAT research found people aged 15-24 was the customer group on which advertisers spent the most to attract. On the other hand, advertisers have found TV has a lower communications efficiency for them.
More young adults use devices with multiple displays such as TVs, tablets and mobile phones, meaning several items compete for their attention at once.
"The upcoming 3G broadband commercial service will accelerate the multiscreen habit this year," said Ms Wannee.
She predicts the advertising industry will grow by at least 10% to 149 billion baht this year, with media inflation static at 6%. Given such a high rate of inflation, the organic growth of the ad industry will be 4% in 2013.
Telecommunications, retail and public service are projected as the top three ad spenders this year. Last year, the automotive sector was the largest ad spender at 10 billion baht.
"Free TV channels have high media inflation rates, which affect media planners. So many advertisers are shifting some of their ad budgets to cable and satellite TV as well as digital media," said Ms Wannee.
She expects ad spending on cable and satellite TV to grow by 35% to 10 billion baht, while digital media is slated to grow by 20% to 2-3 billion this year.
The marketing trend this year is branded content, with some brands sponsoring or buying TV programmes to promote content associated with their brands. For example, Sansiri Plc sponsored The Voice Thailand, while Unilever Thai bought the licence to produce Thailand's Got Talent.
Marketers have changed the way they communicate because consumers do not want to watch ads, she said.
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Writer: Saengwit Kewaleewongsatorn