Overall, the advertising industry sees the Union Budget 2009-10, presented in Parliament on July 6 in a favourable light. However, most feel there isn’t much in it for the ad industry, barring scrapping of FBT. exchange4media spoke to a cross-section of ad industry honchos to find out what they felt about the Budget.
Prabhakar Mundkur, Chief Executive Officer, Percept H
The budget hasn’t directly done anything for the advertising industry. However, certain sectors will see increased spends because of the favourable budget – increased tax exemptions will translate into higher spends on tax saving investment instruments. Also, footwear, textile, LCDs, and branded jewellery will see increased spends as these products have become cheaper now. Government advertising may see an increase. The Finance Minister has heard the demand of the media industry and abolished Fringe Benefit Tax, along with an extension of stimulus package by six months.
Shashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar Universal
Overall, the Union Budget 09 has been issued in good intention, however, whatever issued and mentioned should now be implemented. Scrapping of Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) is a good thing from the corporate and individual standpoint. Overall, I am happy, but as I mentioned, it is a good intention only if it is implemented in the right focus and manner. In that case, this should stimulate and help the economy grow.
Suman Srivastava, CEO, Euro RSCG India
I am happy that FBT has been withdrawn, and at the same time I am happy that service tax has not gone up. Because had the service tax been risen, the advertising sector would have been affected. As for the overall Union Budget, according to me, Union Budgets should not make much of a difference to us in today’s times compared to the past years, where the budget was so dramatic for every sector and companies that one had to adjust their revenues and accounts accordingly. But in today’s times, that’s not the case. So, I would say that I am ‘happyish’ – not very happy and not very disappointed. It’s an alright reaction.
Bobby Pawar, Chief Creative Officer, Mudra
I want to see less protectionalism and more encouragement to businessmen, irrespective of them being big or small. India should be pro-entrepreneurship as business is the backbone of every country. Conditions should be created where there are a million Narayan Murthys and higher prospects for businesses to enhance creativity further.
Shubha George, COO, South Asia MEC
There seems to be enough in the Budget to stimulate domestic demand, which is critical to decouple the Indian economy from the current global financial scenario. I also find nothing drastic that suggests that corporate earnings would be negatively impacted. I am, therefore, surprised at the harsh market reaction. Need to study the details for sector specific impact; these are, however, my overall first impressions.
Ravi Deshpande, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Contract Advertising
It is meant to be growth driven Budget, but predictably there is nothing in it for us.
KV Sridhar, NCD, Leo Burnett
I had expected more boost to the durables and two-wheelers sectors as they are the worst hit by the slowdown. However, what I am delighted about the Budget is the focus on the rural and infrastructure sectors.