Mumbai, Jul 22 (PTI) Despite the COVID ravages in the second wave, advertising volumes on television increased 37 per cent over the same in the year-ago period and 12 per cent when compared with the performance in the pre-pandemic times in 2019, a report said on Thursday.

The TV industry witnessed 874 million seconds of advertising in January-June 2021, as compared to 638 million seconds for the same period in 2020 and 777 million seconds in 2019, the report by Broadcast Audience Research Council said.

The pandemic has had a very deep impact on the GDP, leading to contraction in the economy as well in FY21. The second wave impacted the economy in the June quarter, and policymakers say demand has been impacted in the economy and consumption is down.

“Ad volumes for H1 2021 is promising and encouraging for the industry as a whole. The number of active advertisers and brands are also picking pace,” the council's head for revenue function Aaditya Phatak said.

He said the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry continues to be the largest sector booking the ad slots on TV networks, and contributed for 566 million seconds, which is a 40 per cent growth over the same period in 2019.

Ad volumes for the e-commerce sector continued with its growth trajectory, clocking 78 million seconds in the first half of the calendar year.

Within e-commerce players, education technology segment grew the fastest with a seven times increase in volumes to 15 million seconds over the 2019 levels.

The BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) industry registered a 7 per cent growth over 2019 at 14.5 million seconds, led by life insurance with a 29 per cent share, it said.

Among the companies, Hindustan Unilever was the largest media buyer at 166 million seconds, followed by Reckitt Benckiser at 112 million seconds.

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