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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ACLEDA cuts ad spend due to high deposits

ACLEDA cuts ad spend due to high deposits

Other banks say they will maintain budgets for advertising

ACLEDA Bank has cut advertising budgets by one third this year due to excess liquidity, its president and CEO has said.

In Channy announced last week that the bank’s annual ad budget has decreased from US$1.5 million last year to $1 million this year. After successful promotions in the media, he said, the bank has deposits of $702 million and has lent out $550 million.

“We have enough deposits, so we don’t need to increase our ads,” he explained.

The news comes after representatives of marketing firm IMS Consulting Group told the Post via email last week that its digital monitoring system recorded bank and financial advertising spending on TV and print media declined by an annualised 18 percent in 2009.

But Peang Mann, managing director of IMS, added that by the fourth quarter of 2009 spending recovered significantly, with a number of banks launching new product and branding campaigns as they sought to differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded market.

He said that while banks and financial institutions have traditionally focused their marketing budgets on the print media, there is a growing trend towards television where the overall share of spending increased from 40 percent in 2008 to 45 percent in 2009.

“The Cambodian financial sector has previously been dominated by several larger banks and this used to be reflected in terms of advertising spending. Now we are seeing medium-sized banks successfully competing for share of voice in the market,” he said.

Some of Cambodia’s other banks have confirmed to the Post they plan to keep their expenses at a similar level or even raise their budgets.

Stephen Higgins, CEO of ANZ Royal bank, chose not to disclose the budgets it has spent on advertisements, but said the amount it spends on marketing is expected to be similar in 2010 to last year.

Han Peng Kwang, country head of Malaysia’s HwangDBS, launched in Phnom Penh last year, said that although his bank’s advertising budget has yet to be finalised, the annual spend may increase as they are new to Cambodia.

“The budget may be higher than that spent last year, but we will advertise only in newspapers,” he added.

Ramesh Chandra Baliarsingh, chief executive of Bank of India, said Thursday that the bank has yet to set its advertising budget for this year, as the financial year in India runs from April to March.

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