Media ad spend up: SMI reporting September first growth in seven months

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Total television bookings grew 5.9% from September 2016

Australia’s media agency market looks set to emerge from the doldrums in September, with the Standard Media Index Agency data indicating the market will deliver its first growth in seven months once late digital bookings are included at month end.

So far this month the agency market is back only 3.0% to $626.6 million, but once more of the digital ad spend is in the system the total will easily eclipse the record September month set last year.

The positive sentiment was mostly driven by stronger demand for television advertising, which benefited from the inclusion of an AFL Grand Final this September (it was in October last year) and an influx of ad spend relating to the Same Sex Marriage debate.

As a result, total television bookings grew 5.9% from September 2016, outdoor ad spend also grew significantly (mostly due to strong growth from food/produce/dairy advertisers) and radio’s ad spend was also aided by a strong increase in government bookings, pushing its total spend to be 2.4% above the same time last year.

SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Schulze said the September results are a sign that Australia’s advertising market is through the worst of the tough comparative period, although it did also gain an unexpected boost from the Same Sex Marriage debate.

“The market was definitely buoyed by advertising related to the Same Sex Marriage debate, with the Government category delivering the largest year-on-year dollar increase of any category in the month: +42.3% or $7.2 million from last September. Similarly, SMI’s Industry Associations/Unions category reported the highest percentage growth (up 93.6%) as numerous interest groups voiced their position on the debate,” she said.

Also, this month, SMI has updated its software to include a new Agg TV Market dimension which makes it easier to analyse the complex regional TV market, especially after last year’s changes to the affiliation agreements.

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