SMI Data: May Ad Spends Down A Teeny Bit Year On Year

SMI Data: May Ad Spends Down A Teeny Bit Year On Year
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Australia’s media Agency market has emerged from the Federal election period finely balanced, with the total ad spend just below the record level reported in May 2021 but above the total invested in the previous election month of May 2019.

Overall, total ad spend for May is stable on last year’s very high benchmark, back just 0.9 per cent, with the key feature this month being an extra $41m in Political Party/Industry Association ad spend (excluding UAP ad spend) and Government category ad spend continued to grow, this time up 42 per cent YOY.

And SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said Federal elections usually create an abnormal spike in monthly ad spend, but this Election period was unusual as the market was being compared against the May 2021 result which was the largest ever spending May on record.

“So the better measure is total ad spend in the last Federal election period of May 2019, and the level of ad spend is 0.2 per cetn above that total,’’ she said.

“It also looks as though some advertisers have decided to move campaigns into a more uncluttered media environment in June as we can see in the SMI Forwards data that 83 per cent of the value of advertising booked in the record June 2021 period has already been confirmed (ex Digital).’’

But in the month of May SMI is reporting more patchy ad demand with Digital bookings up just 2.1 per cent although key sectors such as Search, Social Media and Video Sites delivered higher growth rates. Similarly, Video ad spend (ex UAP) was back 2.5 per cent but within that linear Regional TV bookings grew 7.2 per cent.

And the Audio (+4.7 per cent) and Cinema (+68 per cent) media delivered growth on a standalone basis. Within the key Political Party/Industry Association Category the majority of ad spend continues to go to TV/Video with its share of the category increasing to 72 per cent in May from 68.5 per cent in May 2019, while the biggest change since the last election was this category’s move of significant investment from the Digital media to Outdoor.

Outside of election-related categories there was a softer market with Retail category bookings back 5.7 per cent, Food/ Produce/Dairy ad spend back 17.5 per cent and Auto Brand ad spend remains weak, back 26 per cent YOY. As a result, if the Government and Political Party categories are removed the underlying market was back 9.1 per cent YOY.

But after months of continued growth the longer term outlook remains very positive with SMI reporting record levels of ad investment in both the CYTD (+7.8 per cent on the prior year period) and FYTD as the market has grown more than 12 per cent in that time to be through the $7 billion mark for the first time over these 11 months.

Also this month SMI has overhauled the reporting of the financial services market with its ad spend now organized on a product basis. This means SMI categories such as Banking and the new Wealth Management category now include ad spend from any provider of financial services, including the new fintech companies.

“SMI has responded to feedback from the banking sector that we needed to provide a broader view of this market to better reflect emerging players and this change has also resulted in the creation of a new Wealth Management product category and three new subcategories: superannuation, wealth management and payment platforms,’’ Ractliffe said.

“As the accurate SMI data is a crucial tool in share of voice analysis – especially for Digital media where Category ad spend can be viewed for Search, Social Media and Programmatic and by Digital publisher – we are always keen for feedback on how to better reflect changing category ad spend trends.’’

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