The Australian and New Zealand media agency markets have both reported softer November advertising demand, with the Australian market back 11 per cent YOY and the NZ market falling a lesser 1.2 per cent.
In Australia, outdoor was the only media reporting higher November bookings (up 0.4 per cent).
But while retail advertising strongly underpinned the NZ media (the retail and specialty retail categories were the two strongest performers this month in a pre-Christmas ad spend boon with retail ad spend growing 25.4 per cent year-on-year and specialty retail ad spend up 13.6 per cent, it was a very different picture in Australia.
SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said in Australia the usual pre-Christmas increase in retail ad spend failed to emerge, with retail category ad spend back 17 per cent and specialty retail ad spend back 15.6 per cent.
“There’s very different trends emerging on either side of the Tasman within retail, although the one similarity in both markets is the ongoing growth in ad spend by online retailers,’’ she said.
But Ractliffe added SMI’s early December Australian ad spend data (ex digital media) shows an improving market given that 89 per cent of the value of December 2018 bookings are already confirmed.
“And within that data we can already see higher December ad spend is being reported by key categories such as insurance, domestic banks, government, food/produce/dairy, communications and recruitment,’’ she said.
And in NZ early December advertising demand is even stronger with 94.5 per cent of the value of the December 2018 advertising market already confirmed.
The Australian market was also affected by softer ad spend by automotive manufacturers due to lower car sales, and when combined with the softer retail ad spend the collective decline of those two categories accounted for 35 per cent of the total reduction in ad dollars in the month.
Added to that, there was also an 81 per cent fall in political party/union ad spend in November given the ramping up of political activity this time last year ahead of the May federal election.