Advertising spending jumped in February with outdoor and radio the big winners says SMI

Advertising spend by media agencies has seen a dramatic improvement in most key categories, new data from Standard Media Index suggests.

According to SMI, February saw ad spend grow by a “stellar” 7.6% compared to the same month in 2017. By contrast, January had been down by 8.1% year on year.

SMI’s data covers spending on behalf of brands by media agencies and does not cover advertising bought directly by clients.

The out of home sector fared best, with a 29.1% growth for February, year on year.

Radio was up 15.8% and digital was up 14.9%.

The television sector continued its strong start to the year, with a 5.4% growth in spend in February.

However, there was no sign of a change in negative agency sentiment towards print media. The newspaper segment was down 19.4%, including digital spend on news media down by 24.2%.

And the magazine market was down by 23%.

Among the factors boosting the numbers were Seven’s Winter Olympics, and campaign ads for the SA and Tasmanian elections. Big spending by the banks as they attempted to shore up their reputations in the run up to the Financial Services Royal Commission was a further factor.

SMI said that the total agency spend for February amounted to $544.8m.

SMI MD Jane Ractliffe (nee Schulze) said the data “augers well for continuing demand, especially as we’re yet to see the extra ad spend related to the Commonwealth Games or other major sporting events due this year”.


Meanwhile, NewsMediaWorks, the body speaking for the industry’s newspapers, argued that SMI data offers an incomplete picture. Peter Miller, CEO of NewsMediaWorks, said in astatement: “SMI data represents less than half the total advertising revenue for news media. The data does not capture the large proportion of direct advertisers that news media attracts, which represent more than 56% of ad revenue for publishers and grew by 13.5% in the December 2017 quarter alone. ”


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