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May, 2024

SMI: Australian ad demand dips amidst global growth

Standard Media Index’s (SMI) March results reveal a 6.6% drop in ad demand in Australia, partially attributed to the timing of Easter.

SMI found the Australian ad market contrasts starkly with its US and Canadian counterparts, which reported their third consecutive month of growth in March.

Yet despite this, Cinema and Outdoor media reported robust results in March, with year-on-year growth of 46% and 0.5% respectively.

“As only the Government and Auto Brand categories lifted their Australian media investment by more than $5 million in March it seems as though most marketers are adopting a more cautious approach to their ad budgets in the first half of this year,’’ said Guideline SMI APAC Managing Director, Jane Ractliffe.

The Government and Auto Brand categories were the only ones to increase their Australian media investment by more than $5 million in March. The timing of Easter impacted March demand, with only 35% of categories growing investment. Government spending was buoyed by the Tasmanian election. By contrast, there were large declines in ad spend from the communications and travel categories.

“We saw only 35% of categories grow investment and at least some would also be waiting to see how the market evolves after the July Olympics.’’ Ractliffe said.

In contrast, Q1 bookings in Australia fell by 3.7%, while Outdoor media reported a record level of Q1 ad spend (+1.4%). Digital (+2.7%) and Cinema (+8.4%) media also reported positive Q1 results. Meanwhile, most other markets reported positive Q1 results, with ad demand up 6.5% in the US, 2.8% in the UK, 8% in Canada, and 3.7% in China.