While Ronnie Biggs has tired of sequinned g-strings and has left
Brazil to sample British hospitality, Brazilian media players see the
country as a land not only of golden bodies, but of golden
According to Percival Caropreso, executive vice-president, general
manager and executive creative director (big country, big job titles) of
McCann-Erickson Brazil: "There is a lot to grow and there is room for
expansion that is not easy to find in big societies around the world
This opportunity landscape is especially true due to the stability of
the Brazilian economy, which offers low but controllable inflation and
slow but consistent social improvements. Total advertising investment
last year was around dollars 8 million, which gives a per-capita
investment of approximately dollars 50 - offering room to grow. The
political scenario is still a problem, but dictatorships, coup d'etat
and political uncertainty have been banished forever."
Caropreso adds: "But only 50 per cent of Brazil's 165 million
inhabitants can be deemed as active consumers who are responsible for
moving the Brazilian market." This is due to "an unfair social
structure, a mean wealth distribution and a high level of illiteracy".
While a problem, Caropreso believes that this gives the indigenous
market more opportunities.
Jonathan Barnard, the knowledge management manager at Zenith Media, says
that the Brazilian economy is "recovering from the near-stagnation of
1998 and 1999, but so far the recovery has been moderate". He adds: "In
the first half of 1999 industrial activity grew and lower-than-expected
inflation allowed the banks to cut interest rates. Lenders were more
willing to offer credit and consumer confidence strengthened,
stimulating renewed domestic consumption. These positive signals brought
with them new inflationary pressure, so the central bank has had to
tighten its grip on money supply again."
Zenith's forecasts for the period 2000-2003 show that the Brazilian GDP
is expected to rise to 4 per cent per year, which is better than the 0.8
per cent growth of 1999, but not that much for a developing country with
an annual population growth of 1.4 per cent.
Brazil's currency, the real, is now more stable against the dollar, and
this, predicts Zenith, should allow the dollar-measured ad expenditure
to return to the strong position it held before the economy came to a
halt in 1998 due to a crisis of confidence concerning emerging
According to Zenith's forecasts, Brazil's newspapers and magazines are
healthy. Daily newspapers have been raising their combined circulation
since 1997, with several magazines launching successfully.
Ad expenditure in newspapers and magazines has returned to growth after
a decline in 1999. But they are not keeping up with other media and are
particularly losing out to outdoor as new sites are constructed. There
are now more than 35,000 sites across the big cities and there is a
growth in mediums such as bus shelters, banners, building decoration and
decorated buses. The print sector accounted for 33.7 per cent of the ad
market in 1999 and outdoor for 5 per cent; by 2003 Zenith expects their
shares to be 32.5 per cent and 6.1 per cent respectively.
Angelo Franzao Neto, executive vice-president and general media director
of McCann-Erickson Brazil, says that the magazine market boasts more
than 2,000 titles; VEJA (a general interest magazine) from Editora Abril
is the largest with sales of more than 1.5 million issues per week.
"Editora Abril is the largest publishing company and is responsible for
60 per cent of the magazine market. Second is Editora Globo, part of the
O Globo Communications Group, at 15 per cent," he adds.
There are more than 1,000 newspapers in Brazil. Folha de Sao Paulo
(circulation 442,000), O Estado de Sao Paulo and O Globo (circulation
401,000) are the largest, but none have a national average because of
the cultural and geographical diversity of the country.
When it comes to radio, Brazil has more than 3,000 stations, most of
which are AM and cover all 5,000 cities around the country. Some 87 per
cent of Brazilian households have a radio with an average adult
listening time of 320 minutes a day. Due to the medium's significant
popularity, radio networks via satellite are emerging.
Brazil has six large TV networks. Rede Globo concentrates on 60 per cent
of the general audience, while the in second place SBT has 20 per
Some 86 per cent of Brazilian households have a TV and adults view an
average of 180 minutes per day. Pay TV is an expensive luxury with just
under four million homes subscribing to it. Only 6.4 per cent of the
population boast a cable connection.
Due to the opening of the Brazilian economy and to the globalisation of
media channels, Brazilians have an open mind to consume and digest
communication. "We still have strong local and parochial patterns, but
the younger generation of Brazilians will have eyes and minds that are
broader than the borders of Brazil," Neto adds.
Caropreso believes that the launch of independent media companies is
having a significant impact. "Fragmentation is a fact as a lot of
isolated media companies and new vehicles have grown tremendously. These
independent media companies are also starting informal networks, getting
together to offer more options to clients. For example, one radio
company plus an independent TV with a local newspaper and an Internet
portal." He states that these are not official groupings but "a
commercial scheme to compete with large groups".
Consequently, a few communications groups are beginning to offer
cross-selling packages that include several channels.
Caropreso concludes: "Brazilians consume media a lot. We are heavy users
of all communication vehicles, channels and formats. The challenge is
expanding and distributing the richness, the money and educational
conditions to all Brazilians - a task that can be achieved more easily