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Total SMI spend falls with index blaming Easter and 2015 NSW state election

Even outdoor advertising slipped in the latest SMI numbers for March

Even outdoor advertising slipped in the latest SMI numbers for March

Media agency spending numbers for March have taken a hit compared to last year after The Standard Media Index released its first report following the withdrawal of IPG Mediabrands earlier this week.

Metro free-to-air advertising spending has dropped by 16.3% in March compared to the same period last year while digital advertising, a perrenial growth area, also dropped by 5.7%.

The year-on-year March figures have been affected by an early Easter and the impact of the NSW election last year.

Seven remains the most dominant network, holding its position just ahead of Nine with a 37.6% share of the free-to-air market against Nine’s 37.2%.

Ten saw its revenue share grow 3% to 25.2% for the period.

The across-the-board decline included radio, which dipped by 6.8% and the the out of home sector which also saw a drop of 1.8%

The impact of the withdrawal of IPG Mediabrands from the index has been a hotly debated subject over the past week since it was announced.

SMI said the decision by IPG to leave came after the two groups could not agree on a global approach to measuring spending.

SMI co-founder and managing director of Australia/New Zealand Jane Schulze  said that the withdrawal was disappointing but would not have a significant impact on the business or the veracity of the numbers, with Mediabrands removed to report like-for-like numbers.

“We have really enjoyed working with them and are disappointed we couldn’t come to new terms, globally,” Schulze said.

While the loss of IPG Mediabrands has been a blow at a global level, SMI has had some recent local success with the addition of Nine Entertainment Co. which had refused to subscribe t the service under previous sales boss Peter Wiltshire.

SMI has also claimed a number of other local wins which it says has insulated the business from the impact of the IPG move.

Industry observers have also noted that the local impact of  the withdrawal of IPG could be affected by the outcome of the current Coles media account review that could see $200m worth of spending come back into the index if the account moves.

Simon Canning

Correction: The original article incorrectly reported Ten’s revenue share as having dropped.

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