Australia’s local media agency market has remained weak in October, with the latest Standard Media Index ad spend data showing total agency bookings back 8.5 per cent this month.
All major media reported lower bookings, although outdoor bookings were impacted by an extra loading period in September which inflated that month’s agency ad spend and artificially reduced the October bookings.
And for the first time in many months, the Australian and New Zealand Agency markets were in synch from a demand perspective with New Zealand Agencies also delivering weaker advertising demand (down 3.4 per cent year-on-year). However, that follows five months of consecutive growth in New Zealand ad spend and abnormally large September demand due to the Rugby World Cup and local Government elections.
SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said the October results were disappointing – especially in Australia – given we had expected at least a small increase in ad bookings in October.
“Unfortunately there was an unexpected and significant decline in travel category bookings with a large decrease in ad spend by airlines and and travel agents after months of strong growth. And at the same time we saw continued weakness in Automotive Brand (mostly brand/sponsorship-related bookings) and retailers,’’ Ractliffe said.
“Among the major retail sectors we have seen lower advertising demand from supermarkets, electrical retailers and garden/outdoor living advertisers. Similarly, SMI’s home furnishing/appliances category was also softer this month.’’
On the positive side, the insurance and restaurant categories are continuing to grow strongly, with insurance now delivering record levels of ad spend for the October month, financial year and calendar years-to-date.
And the increasing competitiveness of home delivery services has seen the restaurants category grow ad spend by 27.6 per cent this month.