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SMI Prepares for Strengthening Ad Market

Author: Jane Ractliffe

Unveils More Detailed Forward Ad Demand Data

AUSTRALIA’S most trusted advertising data source, Standard Media Index, has this week launched further enhancements to its future advertising demand data to provide greater insights to subscribers as the advertising market begins to strengthen.

SMI AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Ractliffe said the improvements were designed to provide media with more visibility into the future advertising market so they could better plan their advertising strategies.

“Australia’s advertising market has been devastated by the COVID pandemic, with SMI reporting record declines in monthly year-on-year ad spend in April and then again in May. But our forwards data clearly shows the market has begun to improve and we’re now providing more detail to help media position themselves for the upswing,’’ she said.

SMI recently reported that future Australian advertising demand was beginning to return to more normal levels with the level of future demand for July only nine percentage points below what  it was at this time last year while for August the difference is even smaller at six percentage points.

Ractliffe said SMI has now been collecting forward bookings (which is the actual confirmed future ad spend in the payment systems of SMI’s media agency partners) for just over a year so now has a clear benchmark against which to assess forward demand.

And while SMI was originally releasing the forward detail for their 40 product categories, given the demand for more insights they are now releasing the detail for all 140 more granular product sub categories.

“This more detailed data gives the market the extra insights it needs to better assess where and how future advertising demand is shaping up,’’ Ractliffe said.

She said the Travel category provided a good example as it has obviously been one of those most affected by COVID with its total ad spend slumping 92% in May. And the total forwards for Travel remain very low with future demand for July tracking at only 11% of the value of last year’s total and only 3% of the August 2019 total.

“But SMI’s Travel category comprises seven sub categories, and the overall demand is being pulled lower by the very low future demand seen in the Airlines and Travel Agents sub categories. But the Government Tourist Bureaux category is reporting very strong forward demand with higher demand in July than at this point last year and very, very strong August demand of 64%.’’

“This stands to reason as regional tourist bureaux are strongly ramping up their promotional activities to encourage people to travel to those areas given to boost the local economies,’’ Ractliffe said.

Similarly, the Automotive Brand category continues to report lower forward bookings but within that the Light Commercial sub category has already shown stronger future demand, with the demand its reporting for August already above that seen at this time last year.

SMI also continues to keep the market informed on the latest Australian and global advertising demand trends through the weekly COVID updates it’s been providing to subscribers and Agency partners since the COVID crisis began in late March. Early next week it will release its 11th COVID update.

For further information contact:

Jane Ractliffe
SMI AU/NZ Managing Director

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