A spike in pre-election ad spend has ensured Australia’s advertising market delivered another month of growth in April with the value of total ad spend lifting 5.5 per cent, also ensuring a record level of bookings for the first four months of 2022.
But the April result itself was not at a record level due to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games featuring in April 2018, along with a boost in bank advertising ahead of the Financial Services Royal Commission.
And SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said the key driver of this month’s advertising demand was soaring pre-Federal election-related ad spend.
“A month out from the Federal election we’re always expecting to see large increases in election-related ad spend and this year is no different with SMI reporting huge year-on- year growth in bookings from the government and political party/ assoc/unions product categories, with the value of each growing by 83.5 per cent and 309 per cent respectively compared to the April 2021,’’ she said.
“But when we remove those categories from the database we can see the underlying market demand is weaker, with total bookings back 0.4 per cent year-on-year. So following the election the market is going to be searching for a new direction and SMI’s forward bookings already show confirmed ad spend for June is already at lower than expected levels.’’
But in the month of April the fastest growing media were outdoor and cinema, with outdoor bookings growing 16.7 per cent and cinema ad spend more than doubling year-on- year. TV and radio were also strong (+0.2 per cent and +0.6 per cent) and stand-alone newspaper ad spend grew 7.4 per cent. And both press and radio ad spend grew by even larger amounts with related digital ad spend included.
The SMI data also highlights the market’s recent strength post COVID, with both the calendar and financial year bookings at record levels, with the financial year totals through $7 billion for the first time in a ten-month period.