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The death of Thailand’s king and a subsequent period of mourning led to sharply reduced ad spending in November, but the ad market may be feeling the effects of broader economic pressures, as well.
Advertising outlays fell 42.6% year-over-year in November, according to Nielsen Thailand. Traditional media formats were the hardest hit, with analog TV advertising spending dropping 55.0% and cable or satellite TV falling by 62.8%.
Print ad spending was another casualty of the overall downturn, with expenditures dropping 36.0% for newspapers and 45.6% for magazines. Internet advertising was one of the few channels to register a gain, jumping 72.2%.
The death in October of Thailand's long-serving King Bhumibol Adulyadej is undoubtedly having an effect on all Q4 ad expenditures in Thailand. Bhumibol’s passing sparked a 30-day national mourning period that called for a halt on all commercial advertising for seven days, along with a month-long hiatus on entertainment activities. Newspapers also ran both editorial and advertising content in black and white, with advertisers asked to convert copy into condolence messages regarding Bhumibol’s death.
But the dropoff in advertising could be a sign of a weaker overall economy. A military junta assumed control of the government in a 2014 coup d’etat, and appears to be struggling to respond to falling exports and declining foreign investment.
eMarketer predicts that digital ad spending will grow by 18.0% in 2016 to total $420 million by year’s end. Growth is coming from a relatively small base and reflects increasing numbers of internet and smartphone users.
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