Vietnam’s Advertising Market

Posted by Reading Time: 2 minutes

By Marco Azzaro

May 24 – Turnover in the Vietnamese advertising and communications industry reached US$783 million in 2011, up from US$555 million in 2008. However, these latest figures are much lower than the average in Southeast Asian countries and advertising revenues now are higher than only Cambodia and Laos.

So far, most Vietnamese advertisers still remain small scale, accounting for only 20 percent of the market share, while the rest is dominated by foreign advertisers that take up as much as 80 percent of the country’s advertising market. Vietnam’s advertising industry has continued to expand, but its revenues have slowed due to economic reverberations stemming from the Global Financial Crisis and the fall of the Vietnamese dong against the U.S. dollar. Furthermore, local advertising companies are small in quantity and weak in capability, skilled work force, experience and management.

Professional Service_CB icons_2015RELATED: Dezan Shira & Associates’ Business Advisory Services

According to expert opinions, there will be strong growth for the country’s advertising sector going forward, due in part to the rapidly increasing number of Internet and mobile phone users. Forecasts estimate that Vietnam’s annual advertising revenues can surpass US$3 billion by 2020 if revenues can maintain double-digit increases every year.

Only a few local companies are able to compete with their foreign counterparts, but Cimigo stands out among them. In a recent meeting, Cimigo’s Managing Partner Richard Burrage underlined the importance of some advertising elements such as: communication strategy, creative ideas, focusing on positive humor, and the concept of “say less-communicate more.”

He has also supports the importance of branding and its strong link with historical integration. Other strategic keys to getting ahead in the Vietnamese market include providing credible material and appealing to values such as social responsibility, pride, family values and culture.

Advertising via television in the Vietnamese market has great potential. Over 90 percent of Vietnam’s urban population own televisions with an average viewing time of three hours per day, mainly during the peak time of 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Household television ownership is estimated to be 92 percent in HCMC and 96 percent in Hanoi while nation-wide penetration is approximately 87 percent. There are 64 local and one national broadcaster and with the emergence of satellite dishes and cable networks, many households also watch international networks (CNBC, CNN, StarTV).

Dezan Shira & Associates is a boutique professional services firm providing foreign direct investment business advisory, tax, accounting, payroll and due diligence services for multinational clients in Vietnam. For further information and clarification on Vietnam’s international taxation agreements – please email