Local ad demand slows in October

The country’s national ad market has reported ongoing growth in ad demand in October, with the total lifting 2.5 percent year-on-year to $101.9 million. This despite the National election being held at this time last year and of course ongoing lockdowns. 

The result comes off the back of six months of double-digit growth. Total bookings were nonetheless $1.8 million above the total recorded in the pre-Covid world of October 2019. 

Among the major media, the strongest overall result came from digital where ad spend grew 14.9 percent to but on a percentage basis both the magazines and cinema media reported higher percentage gains (up 24.6 percent and 81 percent respectively). 

SMI AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Ractliffe says the positive result was a huge achievement given the abnormal prior-year growth and the ongoing Covid lockdowns. 

“It’s never easy to deliver growth when the same month the previous year was abnormally inflated by a one-off event, but the New Zealand market has clearly risen to the challenge posed by last year’s election and this clearly demonstrates the high level of underlying demand in the market,” she says. 

Despite the election-related growth last year, NZ’s Government category again delivered further growth in October 2021 (+5.2 percent YOY) to emerge again as the market’s largest-spending category while the market was also buoyed by strong growth in Retail investment with both the Retail and Specialty Retail categories delivering double-digit growth in the lead up to Christmas. 

Ractliffe says the October month was also notable as Digital ad spend again overtook the value of Television ad spend, with the growth mostly due to a huge increase in Display bookings (+56 percent YOY) while SMI is now also seeing much larger growth rates in the emerging Digital Audio space (+90 percent in October). 

The New Zealand ad market is also reporting strong growth over the first ten months of the calendar year with the total up 23.8 percent to a level more than $20 million above what was invested over the same ten months last year. 

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