New Zealand's media agency market has had a difficult start to 2019, with total national marketer ad spend falling more than five percent from the same quarter last year, as the market remains plagued by a lack of business confidence.
The low March result follows almost 10 months of reduced advertising demand, and only outdoor and cinema report higher bookings in the March quarter. With SMI launching New Zealand's first outdoor ad format data this month, the surge in outdoor ad spend is seen in the digital outdoor bookings jumping to 56 percent of the total in March – compared to 48 percent in February.
The new outdoor ad format detail also shows the product categories spending the most on digital outdoor – domestic banks are the largest investor in the format, followed by communications advertisers, food/produce/dairy and consumer advertisers.
Overall the market continues to be pulled down by lower government category ad spend from last year's election-related high. The total for March is back 15.5 percent. Banks are also reducing their media investment with their bookings back 10 percent and the food/produce/dairy category has also significantly reduced its media investment by 17 percent this quarter.
SMI ANZ managing director Jane Ractliffe says the April data will also be affected by the long Easter and Anzac Day period – so the market is unlikely to return to positive territory until May.
"The April data will be hurt by the Easter/Anzac Day timing, when last April Easter started at the end of March," she says. "But SMI is forecasting the New Zealand market to return to growth from May and then maintain an extended period of growth."
Ractliffe says the release of the outdoor ad format data is very significant given the market has never before been able to analyse the degree to which the digitisation of outdoor inventory has grown the media.
"We can see in the data that there's still plenty of room for further growth in outdoor, given more than 30 percent of the advertising expenditure on billboards is still for static inventory.
"This data also gives our subscribers a clear view of the product categories growing this media which delivers a new layer of knowledge to sales teams across the media spectrum."