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Media Ad spend in April hits levels lower than the GFC

The New Zealand media industry took a lot of hits following the global pandemic. Now, the Standard Media Index (SMI) has released new data showing how far ad spend fell for media buy.

In total, ad spend took a 37.9 percent nose dive in April alone, ending three months of consecutive growth. Yet the SMI data shows this trend is in line with Australian ad spend (down 35.4 percent) and US ad spend (down 35.3 percent).

 SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said the level of decline is beyond that seen in 2009 during the global financial crisis. 

“New Zealand’s advertising economy suffered the full force of the Covid impact in April as it was the first full month in which the economy was in partial lockdown,’’ she said. 

“Clearly this decline is far larger and was also more sudden than the GFC which evolved over a few months. In contrast, the Covid lockdowns occurred within weeks of the virus’ potential danger being realised, so it’s had a more devastating impact on media which had no time to prepare for such an extreme loss of revenue.’’ 

But Ractliffe said SMI’s Forward Pacings data was looking more positive in June, with 35.1 percent of the value of last June’s ad spend already guaranteed which is a 3.7 percent improvement on the level of future demand evident at the same time last month. 

“And we can already see in June that product categories such as cleaning products, credit cards and pet food have already guaranteed to spend more on advertising in June 2020 than they did in June 2019 so there’s clearly some green shoots already in the market,’’ she said. 

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