BEIJING, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Advertising spending in China reached 243.9 billion yuan ($30.3 billion) in 2005, up 18 percent from the year before, posting the slowest growth rate in three years, the state-run China Daily said on Tuesday.
The cosmetics and bath products industry was the biggest spender on advertising last year, followed by the medicines, retail and services and food sectors, the report said, citing figures from a report released Monday by the Beijing-based firm CTR Market Research.
"Enterprises no longer rely on advertisements as much as they did in the past," Chen Gang, a professor at Beijing University's School of Journalism and Communications, was quoted as saying.
The slower growth in advertising expenditure was also a result of the central government's macro-economic measures to cool the real estate sector, bans on some medical advertising and the slowdown of the automotive industry, Chen added.
Television and newspapers dominated China's advertising market, though newspapers lost 3 percent of their share of market to radio, outdoor and new media, the report said.
Advertising spending in newspapers fell 1 percent in 2005, it said.
In 2005, credit card advertisements grew 80 percent and those for imported alcoholic beverages rose 156 percent, the China Daily said. The top five advertisers were nearly the same as the year before, it said without naming any companies.
The CTR report predicted advertising spending growth to continue to fall in 2006 to 15 percent, down from 39 percent in 2004 and 22 percent in 2003.