Australia’s media agency market has remained weaker in November, with media agency bookings back 4.4 per cent to $682.8 million despite record November bookings from the major retail and automotive brand categories according to the latest SMI data.
Last November’s figures were inflated by abnormal government spending relating to the Same Sex Marriage debate and the Queensland election, while the Victorian election was held this November. When government category bookings are removed to normalise the data, the market is back a lesser 1.6 per cent.
Radio, outdoor and cinema all reported higher demand in November, but TV bookings were softer and the digital media reported its second consecutive month of negative demand despite strong growth on video sites.
But the continued decline of programmatic bookings (back 5.2 per cent in November) and a large reduction in spending to location-based digital offerings ensured a weaker month for Digital.
SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said the month was also notable for huge gains in advertising investment by the two largest SMI product categories of retail and automotive brands.
“Both of these categories have reported record levels of November ad spend, with retail advertisers growing their total spending by 13 per cent and the automotive brand category liftings its spending by 17 per cent,’’ she said.
“In retail, the most growth came from the food/alcoholic retail sub category where bookings lifted 10 per cent, but spending by chemists also doubled and department stores grew their ad spend by more than 20 per cent. And in the auto category, the light commercial sub category more than doubled its ad spend and advertising of SUVs has again picked up.’’
SMI has also introduced a new political parties/industry assoc/ union category this month, which is reporting year-on-year growth of 19.1 per cent to $11.14 million due to the Victorian election.
The softer November demand ensures the 2018 year will be one of two halves, with the market growing 5.5 per cent in the first half of the year, but in the current financial year it’s back 1.7 per cent.
But that earlier growth means that at least for the calendar year-to-date (Jan-Nov) period the market remains at record levels with total bookings up two per cent at a record $6.73 billion.