Bulgarian ad market in decline


    The Association of Bulgarian Advertising Agencies (http://www.arabulgaria.org/) reports that the Bulgarian media market fell 20% during the first quarter of 2009.

    The total for advertising budgets barely surpassed €20 million, with a 25% decrease in TV advertising in comparison to the same period in 2008. The outdoor advertising decrease was the steepest, at 27%. Printed media and radio registered increases of 10% and 8%. IT network advertising seems to be in a better position. Its market share is still small, but is developing fast: from 2.7% in 2007 it is expected to surpass 5% by the end of 2009.

    "During the last years we had consecutive growths: in 2005 - 34%, in 2006 - 37%, in 2007 - 28%," said the ABAA president Krassimir Guergov. "In 2008 over €300 million was injected into the media market. For the first time, because of the world financial crises, this growth will be interrupted. The peak of the crises is expected to be reached in June/ July, when a considerable number of small TV and radio stations will go bankrupt, followed by many newspapers."

    On the other hand MTG (owner of Nova TV and the Diema channels) looks more optimistic. Thanks to a new entertainment policy, the first months of the year brought the channels a 29% advertising revenues increase. According to other experts, in 2009 the Bulgarian media market will shrink by one-third, and the first signs of a revival will start to appear in 2010 at the earliest. Currently, over 80% of the population watches TV, with the result that product consumption increases by 30% within days of the launch of a broadcast advertising campaign.