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Only spending money oBusinesses sparing in ad budgetingn very necessary and highly effective campaigns and using online ads instead of other traditional methods — businesses have been trying every possible way to save every dong in the current difficult period.

The Vietnam Tea Corporation was still present at the Vietnam Expo 2013, like it was in the previous years. However, instead of having 3 stalls at the trade fair, it was satisfied with displaying goods at just one booth.

“We have to practice thrift and cut down expenses as much as possible, when the water, electricity and petrol prices all have increased, but we cannot raise the sale prices,” an executive of the corporation said.

The sales manager of the Thong Nhat Bicycle Company said in the past, the company made its presence at all trade fairs, but it now only participates in the big ones in a plan to cut down costs.

Thong Nhat has been making every effort to boost sales to clear the inventories. Previously, only the customers, who bought more than 50 products, could enjoy the free transport service. Nowadays, they just need to buy 30 products to be able to enjoy this.

Pham Le Tan Phong, Communication Director of Tan Hiep Phat Group, the owner of some well-known soft drink brands such as Number 1, Dr. Thanh, has also confirmed that the budget for ad campaigns has been cut down.

“In general, in the fourth quarter of years, we have to plan the ad budgets for the whole next years, a method that helps to better control the spending,” Phong said, adding that the group will not pay for un-programmed ad campaigns, unless they are very necessary.

“If the board of directors decides that we really need to join some arising campaigns, we would spend the money budgeted for other activities. However, the sum of money to be spent will be limited,” he explained.

Nguyen Thanh Ha, Deputy Chair of the Vietnam Advertisement Association, has confirmed that the businesses’ total spending on ad campaigns decreased dramatically in 2012.

Ha went on to say that businesses now tend to run online ad campaigns in order to save costs. The tendency has led to the setback of the outdoors ads.

“A lot of billboards have been left unoccupied. Meanwhile, it was very difficult to have ad pieces posted on billboards some years ago,” she said.

It’s very difficult to find clients nowadays, even though the ad fees have decreased by 30 percent. The annual fee for a billboard in the inner city is now $16,000, while it was $20,000 some years ago.

The director of an ad firm specializing in food and drink ads in HCM City, said he does not refuse any orders nowadays and he would accept any payment method the clients suggest, just in order to get enough jobs to feed himself and the staff.

The firm, which provided marketing and PR services to a motorbike manufacturer, has received the payment – 2 motorbikes made by the company.

The director, of course, preferred money to the motorbikes, but had to accept the payment, because the motorbike manufacturer is a big client. Finally, he has to bargain the motorbikes away to get money back.

In another case, a real estate developer paid his partner for an ad campaign with an apartment. Since the real estate market is frozen, apartments have been left unsalable, paying for services with apartments proves to be the best way the developer can think of.


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