Australian ad market strong, despite government spending cuts

The Australian ad market is finally coming out of the woods after a tough six months without the same high levels of government ad spend.

According to the latest SMI figures, the headline spend was $8.8 billion this financial year, down just 0.2%.

If the government and political party category is removed, the underlying ad demand for the financial year has actually increased 2.2%.

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The formats that excelled in demand were outdoor and cinema, up 23.9% and 27.5% respectively for the full year.

Category-wise, travel has shown the greatest increase from the pre-COVID lows with its total up 46.5% this financial year, followed by automotive ad spend, which has lifted 20.8%.

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SMI APAC managing director Jane Ractliffe said: “Outdoor was easily the media most affected by COVID given the loss of more than $300 million in ad revenues between the 2018/19 and 2020/21 periods during the public lockdowns.

“It’s been a long road back but the industry has harnessed emerging technologies and developed new inventory to now be in an even stronger position than it was pre-COVID.’’

Looking back at the financial year, Ractliffe said the government ad spend was still influencing the market until the end of last year.

“But from January the sentiment changed significantly, as governments no longer needed to maintain the same levels of COVID advertising and inflation hurt consumer confidence.”


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