Australia’s media industry continues to rebuild following the huge COVID-19 pandemic hit, reporting the second consecutive month of lower declines with a 28.4 per cent fall in national marketer advertising expenditure in July, according to the latest data from SMI.
And already the SMI data for August shows advertisers have spent more in August than for the whole of July, with the strongest advertising demand seen in television (so far back just 11.2 per cent with the data extracted with three trading days to go).
Unsurprisingly, all major media again reported large double-digit declines in July ad spend, but there were some stronger sectors with regional radio bookings back just 11.6 per cent; social media ad spend down 13.8 per cent and bookings to video sites back just 13.7 per cent.
The market also reported stronger demand from some key categories, with the largest category of retail delivering more stable bookings ( down 3.8 per cent in total) as chemists, supermarkets and outdoor/garden retailers all grew their media investment.
But the largest percentage increase among the major product categories came from the toiletries/cosmetics market (up 20.7 per cent). Within this market the investment in advertising hair care products almost doubled with most of those extra funds moving to the TV and digital media.
The data also showed the value of oral care advertising grow 11.7 per cent in July and the other toiletries market (mostly deodorants etc) more than doubled its media investment.
SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said the SMI data was already showing there will be an even lower level of decline in August with the total (ex digital media) so far back 25.2 per cent.
“It could be that for August the percentage decline reduces into the teens as we’re seeing strong forward bookings for numerous product categories and both the television and digital media are more quickly returning to a pre-COVID state with Digital’s July decline of 15.6 per cent the lowest of any major media,’’ she said.
“And for the month of October the value of committed ad spend is now only six percentage points behind where it was at this time last year.’’
Given the lower July decline, the trend for the calendar year-to-date also continues to improve with the market now back 24.5 per cent over the past seven month period.
That result was initially driven by the natural disasters at the start of the year but was then exacerbated by COVID with ad spend falling by 43.5 per cent in May.
SMI has also just released the final July ad spend for New Zealand, which is reporting a lesser 21.1 per cent decline in July bookings given the country has had a more limited COVID impact than the Australian market.
The New Zealand market also saw some green shoots in ad spend, with the regional rRadio market managing to lift bookings by 15.6 per cent and in the digital media the value of ad spend utilising the Video ad format increased by 6.7 per cent .
“All markets are slowly rebuilding after COVID inflicted huge declines in advertising expenditure and it’s great to be able to report the early signs of growth as the media world tries to return to a new normal,’’ Ractliffe said.
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