SMI Data: Lower Government Spend Stings Agencies

SMI Data: Lower Government Spend Stings Agencies

Australia’s media Agency market has hit a tough comparative hurdle from last year’s record February, with total bookings for February 2017 so far back 13 per cent at $467.7 million as timing issues and lower Government ad spend hurt the market.

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Last February was a leap year and as such was longer, featuring an extra Monday, Saturday and Sunday compared to this month. And that especially affected the print media this month as the industry produced fewer editions. Meantime, Radio was also affected by the one less Monday as this month’s data now features fewer Agency payments made on a week-commencing basis.

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But all major media are so far reporting lower bookings this month, although digital’s interim decline of 19 per cent will revert to a flat or slightly positive result once late digital bookings are included at the end of the month.

SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Schulze said SMI’s Product Category data showed the softer demand was widespread with the majority of large categories reporting double digit declines in advertising expenditure in February 2017.

One of those categories is Government, which grew rapidly in the lead up to last year’s Federal Election, but is now reporting a $6 million decline in bookings (-26.2 per cent) to $16.9 million.

:Australia’s Agency market will increasingly face tougher comparative periods as we move closer to the one year anniversary of the Federal election last July, and then the Rio Olympics in August,’’ she said.

“However, March 2016 experienced a similar level of demand as we’ve seen for February 2017 so hopefully that may make March an easier month from a comparative standpoint.’’

And for a longer term perspective, when late digital bookings are included for the February data the total agency market will be flat over the financial year-to-date period with the total now back only 0.7 per cent for this period at $4.65 billion.