Uganda Advertisers defy inflation

Monday, April 25, 2011

THE growth of media and increasing competition in the telecom sector drove advertising expenditure to sh97b from sh79.5b in the first quarter of 2011.

This was a 22% rise in advertising spend, research findings indicated over the weekend.

The period was also boosted by rising spending during the February political campaigns as politicians jostled for votes.

Of the sh97b, sh57b went to radio advertising as the media platform enhanced its significance as the most used and effective to reach the masses and the business community.

“If you are not using radio, you are not buying right,” said Virginia Nkwanzi, the Synovate managing director. There are about 240 radio stations countrywide and up to 98% of the population use radio compared to 20% for print and 24% TV.

Print media took sh22b, while TV grabbed sh16b of the total advertising in the first quarter of 2011.

However, compared to the first quarter of 2010, print media made a remarkable jump from sh11.5b to sh22.6b.

Expenditure on TV, however, declined from sh18b to sh16.8b.The current inflation averaging about 11.1% has also not affected companies expenditure on advertising.

“People and companies have not stopped launching products and driving campaigns,” said Nkwanzi at the Kampala briefing. Synovatte has also launched a technology platform of media monitoring that should improve efficiency and accuracy of data capturing.

The research firm previously employed a manual system where personnel listen and then write down the mentions before logging into the system. The lengthy process required a lot of quality controls.

The automated system that has the capacity to keep data for 10 years also prevents fraud by the station managers who may under declare the number of mentions.

“It is a means of validating expenditure. Whatever goes through the radio is recorded and captured. A person can sit at their desk and then log into the system and monitor the adverts,” said Nkwanzi.

By David Mugabe: The New Vision Newspaper

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