Ad spending by IT firms surges in 2013: data

SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) -- Spending on advertising by information technology (IT) firms soared last year, driven by telecom firms and smartphone makers such as Samsung Electronics Co., a report showed on Sunday.

The country's tech firms spent a combined 607 billion won (US$571 million) on advertisements last year, up 14.4 percent from 531 billion won a year earlier, according to the report by AC Nielsen.

Samsung and its rivals such as Apple Inc. and LG Electronics Co. spent a combined 166 billion won on smartphone advertisements last year, rising 14.2 percent from a year earlier. They each released their own new smartphones last year, such as the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 by Samsung and Optimus G Pro by LG, in a bid to expand their presence amid heated competition.

The advert spending by the country's three mobile operators -- SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. -- reached 180 billion won last year, up 27.5 percent from a year earlier, the report showed.

In contrast, local financial firms, the biggest spender on advertisement, trimmed their spending last year, with their combined advert spending down 14.7 percent to reach 551 billion won.

The report said the IT sector is relatively less vulnerable to economic cycles, so that their ad spending increased last year while most other segments cut back on their advertising spending.

The report showed that overall spending on ads on newspapers, television and magazines reached 5.68 trillion won last year, down 3.8 percent from a year earlier.

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