Apple boosts ad spending in S. Korea, says report

Apple Inc. is expected to increase its ad budget in South Korea to better compete with Korean rivals including Samsung Electronics Co., a local news outlet reported Monday.

South Korea's Money Today newspaper, citing industry sources, reported that Apple spent a total of 14.6 billion won (S$16.51 million) in the first half of this year. It was the 21st-largest budget among advertisers in the nation.

The US-based tech firm's spending peaked in June, when it spent an estimated 4.7 billion won to rank eighth on the list of top advertisers. Its archrival Samsung Electronics took the top spot during the month, followed by Hyundai Motors Co., SK Telecom Co., LG Electronics Inc., LG Uplus Corp. KT Corp. and Kia Motors Corp.

Over the past few years, Apple has steadily increased its spending on product promotion in the Korean market, the home turf of its biggest competitor, Samsung. Its yearly advertising budget for the South Korean market climbed from 29.5 billion won in 2011 to 36.2 billion won in 2012.

Apple's ad expenditure is rumoured to rise further this year because the company typically sets aside more of its ad budget for later in the year. Last year, Apple's ad expenses here hit an annual high of 5.8 billion won in December.

While Apple put more money into the advertising battle in Korea, it still lags far behind Samsung. The South Korean tech giant reportedly spent US$4 billion in worldwide advertising last year, outstripping Apple's estimated worldwide ad budget of about US$1 billion.