World Media 2007: Brazil

Brazilians love their media - the country is home to the world's biggest TV producer and the world's biggest magazine, while the nation has embraced social networking with a passion.

Losing to France in the football World Cup was probably the biggest thing that happened in Brazil in 2006. But there was also a presidential election and some nasty violence, reinforcing Brazil's reputation as a country of extremes.

Brazil's shoe-shine-boy turned left-wing president was voted in for a second term by a landslide in October, despite a first term beset by scandal surrounding his former finance minister. After a first term implementing tough fiscal policies, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, popularly known as Lula, has pledged to grow Brazil's sloth-like economy.

Lula's first term in office saw the economy grow by an average of just 2.6 per cent while the economies of the rest of the world grew by 4.8 per cent. The president has set the ambitious target of 5 per cent, but just how he's going to do it is far from clear. He has already announced his government's "growth acceleration package", which was well received by Brazilian industrialists. But although it will keep things steady, it will not do the job of growing the economy on its own.

The ad market in Brazil is more buoyant; 2005 was extraordinary, growing by 40 per cent. But much of that was down to the appreciation of the real against the US dollar and that figure is changing. Overall, 14 per cent growth in adspend is forecast for 2006, to be followed by 5 per cent in 2007.

Brazil is a nation of TV lovers. Last year, intense interest in the football World Cup helped to fuel growth in TV expenditure. Globo - the only free TV channel to broadcast all the matches - had sold its five nationwide sponsorship packages by the end of 2005.

But the internet is also proving to be a small-screen draw. Google's two-year-old social-networking service, Orkut, never really caught on in the US, but the Brazilians just love it. About 11 million of Orkut's more than 15 million users are registered as living in Brazil.

And Brazil has challenged Spain as the country with the most active users on YouTube. At one point during last year's elections, Lula was fighting for attention with a video on YouTube. The paparazzi video showed the MTV presenter Daniella Cicarelli, (the former model girlfriend of the Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo) having a sexual encounter with a private banker from Sao Paulo. The whole story - a heady combination of politics, sex, money and football - deserves to be made into a telenovela.

USdollars million at current prices. All years based on average monthly
exchange rate. *Estimated
Total Newspapers Magazines TV Radio Outdoor Online
2000 5,365 1,154 566 3,105 263 278 0
2001 3,968 844 415 2,334 189 185 0
2002 3,313 664 314 2,014 152 168 0
2003 3,680 664 348 2,237 166 210 55
2004 4,653 796 400 2,941 207 232 77
2005 6,496 1,087 592 4,141 280 284 112
2006 7,386 1,195 651 4,763 322 327 128
2007* 7,762 1,255 684 5,001 338 343 141
2008* 8,157 1,318 718 5,251 355 360 155
2009* 8,573 1,384 754 5,513 373 378 171

Adspend notes 1) After discounts. 2) Includes classified. 3) Includes
production costs. 4) Includes agency commission. 5) TV includes cable
television from 1998.

Newspaper: Folha de Sao Paulo (daily, 308,000 copies)
Business magazine: Veja (weekly, 1,115,000 copies)
Consumer magazine: Epoca (weekly, 428,000 copies)
Most-watched TV programme: Novella III (2004)
Best new TV format: Next Brazilian Top Model
Circulation: Instituto Verificador de Circulacao audits about half the
daily press
Readership: Ipsos-Marplan Pesquisas
TV viewing: Ibope
Newspapers: O Estado de Sao Paulo
Magazines: Grupo Abril
TV: Globo


- Media topic du jour

Sao Paulo's "clean city" law, passed last year, aims to delete all out-of-home advertising in the largest of Brazil's cities. Outsized billboards will have to come down along with all other forms of publicity in a public place.

- Reigning media guru and why

Roberto Civita is the head of the Group Abril media empire. He is eyeing up the possibilities of wireless internet, given that he has some dormant frequencies in his back pocket.

- Media mogul to be seen dining with and why

Silvio Santos, TV show host and the owner of SBT, Brazil's second-largest TV network, would certainly draw the eye.

- Car to drive: Ford Fusion.

- Phone to carry: Nokia N91.

- Whatever you do, don't say

How about a big outdoor campaign in Sao Paulo?


Created by Artplan in Brazil, this campaign saw Brazil's leading bank literally positioning itself as as the bank for its clients. The bank's 300 or so retail outlets displayed banners using popular Brazilian names, such as Banco da Juliana. The campaign was supported by multimedia activity.