Tag Archives: Russia

BRIC countries lead advertising growth

Russia and India will record the strongest growth in advertising spend over the coming year, according to the latest Warc international ad forecast. It predicts that Russia will increase expenditure by 16.5%, followed by India (14.0 percent), China (11.5 percent) and Brazil (8.5 percent). The picture is very different outside the BRIC quartet, especially in Europe, where three countries – Germany (1 percent), France (0.8 percent) and Italy (-0.2 percent) – are now expected to record the worst year-on-year performances. All three economies are facing the possibility of renewed recession due to the eurozone debt crisis. Taking into account the likelihood of inflation, all three countries are likely to see a decline in advertising spend in 2012. The forecast for the UK is more positive, with predicted growth of 4.2 percent. But Warc, the marketing intelligence service, points out that the figure will be boosted by two sporting events – the London Olympics and European football championships. As for the United States, which is forecast to see a 4.1 percent increase in ad spend, its TV broadcasters will undoubtedly benefit from the presidential election. Indeed, across all 12 countries covered by the survey, TV is predicted to increase its share of main media advertising, growing by 5.3 percent compared to the overall media total of 4.5 percent. As for online advertising, the pace of expansion is expected to slow to 12.6 percent this year, down from an estimated 16.6 percent in 2011. The internet is expected to account for 20 percent of all media spend by the end of 2012.


The surge in world commodity prices since last August – an explanation for the layman

Principal reason is a a growth in global industrial production has been maintained at levels well above long term trends, which has tightened the underlying supply/demand balance in the markets.

  • In simple terms this is seen by increased demand in rapidly growing BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) and other fast developing regions.
  • This is matched by a relative stagnation in ‘supply’ – crop yields are not rising anything like fast enough to meet shooting demand
  • Now the loss of oil supplies (Libya) has fuelled  this unease still further 

The beginning of a pattern of climatic incidents suggesting that global warming is having at least starting to have a major effect on regions of the world that are traditionally seen as the breadbaskets for food & vital commodities – acute droughts in north eastern China & in Russia in 2010; floods in Queensland and droughts in Western Australia and a similar story in places such as Argentina, the USA and Canada

  • As there is little or no excess margin in terms of ‘supply’ that can absorb this shock in a seamless fashion, price equilibrium is at risk as each bit of poor news fuels market uncertainty still further
  • This is made worse as, unlike oil, there is little or no concrete and reliable information on ‘physical commodity stockpiles,’ there was not a single real calculation when Russia banned grain exports after a damaging drought in 2010, so the market reacts to what little it knows
  • This lack of clarity is compounded by the weakness of bodies monitoring the financial instruments known as ‘standardised commodity derivatives’  – the European Market Standards Authority having a staff of less than 100 to monitor trades across 27 countries & the incoming US Republicans cutting the budgets of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission still further

The final, and “speculative” explanation is that the US Federal Reserve’s decision to expand liquidity (quantitative easing) has leaked into all risk assets,  including commodities, via financial market demand for these assets. If this is true, it implies that the Fed has imparted an adverse supply side shock into the world economy by raising the oil price due to a lower dollar rate (which ought to have some fairly profound implications for the future conduct of monetary policy around the world).

What’s this mean in simple terms – oil, wheat, corn is traded in dollars – a weak dollar means it is more expensive….with the debt celing hit in the USA in terms of the Federal Budget it is in all our interests that the U.S. deficit is addressed and some strength returns to the dollar.

Why this post? – Well Media Focus has been doing some work in this field and we thought it good to share some of what we’ve learnt…we’ve built some interesting reports for clients – looking at Influencer Network Analysis and then taking the findings through to their conclusions (see above).

How does this affect things moving forward? – This problem is not going away any time soon. The fragility of the balance between supply and demand is so delicate at the moment that a crop plague (one moving across the world right now, charmingly called Ug99) or a wider drought or an exceptionally bad winter or a spread of the tension from Libya to other oil rich nations – and boom – we all fall over the edge

What can we do – pray our politicians get it right as they seek to introduce curbs on the untrammelled speculation that is thriving in the commodity trading markets.  Hope for tighter regulation on that trade and for it to emerge sooner rather than later

Email spam falls sharply after Russian crackdown

You may not have noticed, but since late last month, the world supply of Viagra ads and other e-mail spam has dropped by an estimated one-fifth. With 200 billion spam messages in circulation each day, there is still plenty to go around. But police officials in Russia, a major spam exporter, say they are trying to do their part to stem the flow. On Tuesday, police officials here announced a criminal investigation of a suspected spam kingpin, Igor A. Gusev. They said he had probably fled the country. Moscow police authorities said Mr. Gusev, 31, was a central figure in the operations of SpamIt.com, which paid spammers to promote online pharmacies, sometimes quite lewdly. SpamIt.com suddenly stopped operating on Sept. 27. With less financial incentive to send their junk mail, spammers curtailed their activity by an estimated 50 billion messages a day. Mr. Gusev and SpamIt.com have been widely known in computer security circles, and he had lived openly in Moscow. Spamhaus, an international nonprofit that monitors global spam, listed the SpamIt.com organization as the world’s single largest sponsor of spam


Russian journalism students hit back with rival anti-Putin calendar

Six Russian journalism students released a rival calendar after their colleagues’ scantily clad version in honour of Vladimir Putin. Twelve scantily clad women oozing praise for Vladimir Putin versus six stern-looking female students demanding human rights – who will win Russia’s battle of the calendars? A day after 12 journalism students at Russia’s most prestigious university released a racy calendar in honour of Putin’s 58th birthday, six of their colleagues hit back with their own version, pointing to the murders and curbs on freedom under Putin. “Who killed Anna Politkovskaya?” asks Yekaterina Ulianova, posing, like all the young women, in a sombre black outfit with yellow tape sealing her mouth shut. Politkovskaya, a journalist who was one of the Kremlin’s toughest critics, was shot dead on Putin’s birthday four years ago today. The students in both calendars study at Moscow State University’s journalism faculty, which has produced some of the country’s finest journalists, including Politkovskaya. Some 50,000 copies of the first calendar have been printed, and are for sale for RUVB 259 at Moscow branches of French supermarket chain Auchan. The opposition calendar, for now, is only available online.


BBC World Service broadcasts in Burma face axe – according to Foreign Office sources

BBC is locked in talks with the government over drastic cuts to the World Service budget which could force it to withdraw from Burma and several other countries. The Foreign Office, which funds the World Service through an annual GBP 272m grant, has told executives to prepare for a possible budget cut of 25 percent from April 2011 as part of the public sector cutbacks. The BBC service in Burma is one of those identified by the government as under threat, according to a diplomatic source. The World Service Russian presence, which reaches about 700,000 listeners and a further 1 million through its Russian-language website, may also be vulnerable to cuts, according to BBC insiders. BBC sources said talks with the government would continue for six weeks, however, and claim no final decisions have been made. The outcome of the consultation will be known on 20 October, when the chancellor, George Osborne, outlines the scale of the government cuts in the Treasury’s public spending review. Although best known for its radio broadcasts the World Service also runs websites and TV stations in 32 countries in dozens of languages. It has a global audience of 241 million across TV, online, radio and mobile phones. The World Service was criticised for pulling out of eight countries in eastern Europe three years ago to fund new services in the Middle East, including a new Persian TV service.


Brazil, Russia, India, China and Indonesia will double their Internet users to 1.2 billion by 2015, fueling growth at media companies and phone carriers, according to Boston Consulting Group

Brazil, Russia, India, China and Indonesia will double their Internet users to 1.2 billion by 2015, fueling growth at media companies and phone carriers, according to Boston Consulting Group. By then, the countries will have three times the Internet users of the United States and Japan combined, up from about two times at the end of 2009, the consulting firm said in a report released last week. Personal computers will double in the five countries to more than 920 million, and mobile phones with Internet access will aid growth, according to the report. As consumers gain more access to the Net, they’ll spend more time online, providing a boon to entertainment providers, the report said. Boston Consulting added Indonesia to the group because of its 240 million population and its proportion of mobile-phone users, which at 66 percent is higher than China and India, said David Michael, the report’s lead author. Indonesia’s wireless subscriptions will top 100 percent of the population by 2015, meaning some users will have multiple devices, according to Boston Consulting. Twenty percent of China’s population owns a personal computer, and tens of millions get online at Internet cafes, giving China 384 million Internet users at the end of last year, almost triple the total in 2006, the report said. In India, only 7 percent of the population was using the Internet at the end of 2009, the lowest of the five countries in the report. Indian users spend half an hour online a day, and productivity functions such as e-mail and job-hunting are their most popular activities. That will change as media companies take advantage of the growth in users, which will reach 19 percent by 2015, Michael said. Internet users in Brazil and Russia will surge by 2015 to 74 percent and 55 percent of the population from about one-third last year, according to the report.


Russias Supreme Court: Web Sites Can’t Be Closed Because of Forum Posts

Online media outlets can only be shut down for extremist comments left on their forums if they fail to comply with official requests to delete the comments, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, RIA-Novosti reported. User posts on forums without moderation are to be treated the same way as live speeches on radio or television, for which the broadcasters cannot be held responsible, said Supreme Court deputy chief justice Vasily Nechayev. The ruling only covers forums of web sites that are registered as media outlets. Federal anti-extremist legislation allows courts to close media outlets that receive two warnings for extremist content, which includes promoting hatred based on ethnicity, social status and profession, as well as calling for the violent overthrow of the government. Promoting extremism is punishable by up to three years in prison and up to five years if done through the mass media. Prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling, authorities had the option of shutting down online media outlets for comments on their forums, even if the comments were not endorsed by the editors.