The recovery continues

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SYDNEY, Monday: New Zealand’s advertising market has rebounded strongly from recent Covid-related declines, finishing the year on a high by reporting a 10.4% increase in December adspend which in turn has led to a 4.9% increase in December quarter adspend, according to SMI.

Strong growth by each of the TV (+15.3%), Digital (+19.2%) and Radio media (+0.8%) spurred the stronger market, while Outdoor also continues on its recovery path with December bookings back just 3%.

SMI collected its data from all NZ media agencies.

Sydney-based SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said the result – which was the second consecutive month of growth in NZ adspend – proved the New Zealand advertising market was now moving quickly out of the Covid slump.

“The pandemic triggered advertising recessions in each of the five markets where SMI reports adspend and New Zealand was no exception and suffered seven straight months of declining adspend,’’ she said.

“But the trend has now definitely turned and the NZ advertising market is back on a strong growth trajectory. That’s also confirmed by SMI’s Forward Pacings data which shows that 86% of the value of the January 2019 ad market has already been confirmed.’’

“As with other markets, the CY2020 advertising year has been one of two halves in NZ, with the value of advertising bookings in the first half of the year falling 18.5% due to the huge COVID year-on-year declines of 37% reported in April and May, while second half bookings fell a lesser 7.2%.

“But it’s the stronger December quarter which has proven the market is now in full recovery mode with the growth driven by a 52% increase in Government-related adspend around the national election plus higher Food/Produce/Dairy (+29%) and Non-Alcoholic Beverage (+58%) category adspend.

“The stronger December quarter has proven the market is now in full recovery mode.”

“In the December quarter we’ve seen the Television and Radio media return to growth, the Digital media continued to increase its rate of growth (+15.4% for the quarter) while the decline in Outdoor ad spend continues to reduce,’’ Ractliffe said.

For the month of December, SMI reported above-market ad spend gains for four key media sectors led by Programmatic ad spend (+34%), Social Media sites (+28%), Video-based sites – mostly streaming TV sites – +17.4% and in Outdoor the Retail Outdoor sector delivered year-on-year growth of 28.5%.

Among the largest product categories the strongest gains this month came from the Alcoholic Beverages category (+57.5%), Non Alcoholic Beverages category (+99%) and Banking ad spend (+29%).

And the CY2020 ad spend data for NZ shows total Agency spend down 12.3% – removing $129 million in ad spend from the market – prompting all major media to report significant declines in ad spend compared to the CY2019 period.

“There’s no question the CY2020 year was the toughest in NZ’s media history as advertising demand was hit by the lower business confidence resulting from the COVID-related lockdowns,” Ractliffe said.

“But the good news is that the New Zealand ad market is recovering very quickly and all the signals in the SMI data suggest this new advertising year will be a far more positive one for the NZ media industry.”

About Standard Media Index
Standard Media Index was established in 2009 in Sydney and has offices in New York, London and Madrid. SMI partners with leading global media buying agencies to provide independent, accurate and timely advertising expenditure data to its clients to facilitate informed analysis of the media sector and product category expenditure. Data is sourced directly from advertising agencies’ billing systems and then aggregated to show the combined picture of media Agency adspend across all major media, media sectors, 40 product categories and 140 sub categories. It allows subscribers to monitor and analyse key data points that can be actioned to grow share and make better investment decisions. SMI provides the only clear picture on how ad dollars are being spent. SMI works with media agencies in more than 15 global markets.

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