Softer ad market conditions to end the first quarter of 2024

Guideline standard media index (SMI) results for March 2024 ad bookings show the softer market conditions have continued in Australia to the end of the first quarter. Despite this Cinema and Outdoor media are reporting healthy results with year-on-year growth of 46% and 0.5% respectively.

Guideline SMI APAC Managing Director Jane Ractliffe said the result for the Australian ad market continues to differ significantly from that elsewhere, with both the US and Canadian markets reporting their third consecutive month of growth in March:

“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. March demand was at least in part impacted by the timing of Easter (last year the holiday was entirely in April), but even so 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.’’

Guideline’s US database reported a 4.5% increase in March ad spend and in Canada the total grew 2%.

Ractliffe also said the growth in Government ad spend in Australia this month (+36% YOY) was largely due to the Tasmanian election, but that growth was offset by large declines in ad spend from the Communications and Travel categories. The March result has pushed Australian Q1 bookings back 3.7%.


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