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Advertising takes ‘minimal’ hit from Sichuan earthquake as agencies scramble to aid victims

CCTV's coverage of Sichuan earthquake

CCTV’s coverage of Sichuan earthquake

China’s advertising economy is to feel ‘minimal’ impact from the earthquake in Sichuan that struck over the weekend.

Though some TV programs and ads were cancelled to make way for rolling news coverage, the earthquake is not likely to affect media spend beyond the short term, Cary Huang, CEO of UM China told Mumbrella.

“The impact [on media] will be minimal, since Ya’an, where the earthquake struck, is a low-tier market in China. Ya’an’s economy is less developed than that of the Wenchuan region, where the earthquake struck in 2008,” Huang said.

Meanwhile, agencies have been mobilising resources to help victims of the earthquake – though none have reported staff being effected by the disaster.

UM is working out a plan to help victims through its social and welfare committee. Ad agency BBDO has asked staff to donate clothing to aid charities. Wieden + Kennedy is also hatching a plan to get aid to the effected area, while WPP – which has agencies in the area – has committed to setting up a donation program.

A WPP spokeswoman told Mumbrella: “We can confirm that the teachers and students at Red Flag primary school in Guangyuan city are all safe, and that the school buildings were undamaged. WPP helped to rebuild the school following the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. The school is located in Guangyuan, Sichuan, about 500km from the epicenter of the Lushan earthquake.”

The earthquake that hit Southwest China on Saturday morning measured 7.0 on the Richter scale and has claimed the lives of around 188 people and injured thousands.

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