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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

The digital age in Vietnam is booming, but where are the advertisers?

Recently an interview was featured online ( with the director general of Broadcast and Electronic Information under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) of Vietnam (imagine the kind of dinner party conversations you could have with a title like that) speaking about internet freedom in the country. The interview covers his views (or perhaps a panel’s – okay, most likely a panel’s) on the progression of the internet usage in Vietnam. It’s a very brief and short interview that does sound like a carefully scripted press release.

The director reveals that the internet was introduced in Vietnam back in 1997 (This is only 6 years after the world wide web was introduced to the world by Tim Berners-Lee). So it’s actually been around for a lot longer than most people probably think. He goes on to say there are currently 27 million people in Vietnam, which is 31% of the population, now on the internet. That’s 10 million more internet users than the number of users in Australia. What’s even more amazing is that there are more Vietnamese internet users than the entire population of Australia.*

So where are the advertisers? The numbers seem to be pretty impressive. And to date, we haven’t seen any truly innovative campaigns from the major marketers that engage this large and growing online audience. Instead we generally see adaptations retro-fitted from other countries. Surely 31% of the country’s current online users deserve more than this.

According to the director general, ‘Vietnam is now leading the region in internet growth and is among the countries with the greatest internet development in the world.’ He also adds, ‘internet access is easily available to the people of Vietnam with hundreds of online newspapers, thousands of information portals and millions of personal blogs.’ That’s a lot of eyeballs, trackballs and mouses.

The golden cyber gateway to Vietnam is waiting and ready. Now clients just need to believe in it as much as the government does.

The original article is here.

*2010: Australia population - 21,262,641. Australia internet users - 17,033,826. By Internet World Stats via Nielsen

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