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  • [Internet Ad] Internet Advertising in Its Infancy in Philippines
  • November 19, 1998 (MANILA) -- Internet advertising in the Philippines remains in its infancy, despite the proliferation of Internet service providers in the country.
    Content providers or Web page developers, however, are confident Internet advertising will increase in the coming years as more and more individuals and companies realize the wide and effective reach of the Internet.

    Wai Yee Lam, chief operating officer of Manila-based Asia Online Inc., said the Philippines is not the only country experiencing a low rate of Internet advertising; most content providers in Asia are experiencing the same problem.

    "In Asia, companies are just beginning to recognize the Web as a valuable marketing channel," Yam said, noting that Internet advertising in the United States is already well established.

    Lam said advertisers will fully realize the Web's potential, but not in the near-term.

    "Online media have not received much attention and it will take another year or two for the number of advertisers to be meaningful and realistic," Lam said.

    Rowena Macaraig, president of Digital Ads Corp., said she believes content providers need to work harder to make advertisers aware of the Web's reach.

    "The medium is still relatively unfamiliar for non-technical people such as human resource managers, marketing managers and businessmen," she said.

    "Usually, it is the companies with their own Internet sites who are open to the idea of Web advertising," she added.

    Macaraig said that for now, local companies are willing to spend only 3,000 pesos (US$77) to 5,000 pesos (US$128) for the typical 2-in. by 2-in. add on a Web site, depending on the location of the ad.

    Vicente Groyon, creative director of BusinessWorld Online Inc., said Web advertising in the Philippines hasn't been welcomed as it has been in the United States.

    "Advertising on the Internet has gotten a lot of bad press. Some users are irritated by ads, which eat up on their download time," he said.

    Groyon said it will take some time before Internet advertising is widely accepted in the Philippines.

    In the Philippines, Macaraig said among the industries that have accepted the idea of Internet advertising as an essential tool are hotels, shopping centers, computer companies, human resources companies and travel agencies.

    Alistair Israel, president of WS Fiesta Online Inc., said still largely untapped markets are manufacturing companies and consumer products-related companies.

    Robbi Mercado, a consultant for direct marketing and electronic marketing at Publicis Philippines Inc., said Internet advertising for consumer goods may take a few years to become popular in the Philippines since the penetration of the Internet among mass consumers is low compared to that of television.

    "Advertisers still feel they will get more value for their money if they advertise on television," he said.

    Industry observers said Internet advertising hasn't become popular among advertisers because ad agencies generally do not offer it as an alternative when they present possible packages to their clients.

    Tricia Camarillo, business development manager at McCann-Erickson Philippines, said ad agencies are only beginning to explore Internet advertising.

    "We are aware of Web advertising and its important role in the future. We are currently in the stage of exploring possibilities," she said.

    Camarillo admits several clients have shown interest in the Internet as a venue for advertisements and have instructed her company to prepare an analysis of how Internet advertising would be able to supplement their traditional advertising routes.

    Israel believes that improving the available infrastructure provided by Internet service providers would greatly improve the acceptance of Internet advertising.

    Israel predicts that sites that target a niche market will increasingly become more attractive to advertisers in the Philippines.

    "Advertisers will be able to target their specific markets through these special Web sites at less cost than advertising on larger sites maintained by expensive content providers," he said.

    Internet Ad stories:
    - Clients Often Ahead of the Agencies in Australia/A>
    Taiwan's Internet Ad Market to Triple by 2000
    - Taiwan Internet Ad Market Value Estimated at US$3M in 1998

    (Margarita Roa, Asia BizTech Correspondent)

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    Updated: Wed Nov 18 16:48:43 1998 PDT