Nine sees a better advertising market from September

By Chris Pash | 22 August 2019
Hugh Marks

Nine CEO Hugh Marks says the advertising market looks a little stronger from about September.

In announcing annual results today, Nine forecast earnings growth of around 10% for the year ahead.

"Certainly July was weak and we see August as being better than that," Marks told AdNews in an interview.

"And then we start to see more positive signals coming through from September onwards . The first quarter is probably weak, but we expect second quarter to be improved."

The advertising market has seen 11 months in a row of negative growth, according to SMI (Standard Media Index) numbers. 

Nine called out a challenging free-to-air television and housing market.

Other media companies have reported weak advertising, Today, broadcaster Southern Cross talked of a "challenging media environment".

However, Nine sees improvement ahead.

Marks pointed to tax cuts going through plus interest rate reductions to put more money in the pockets of consumers.

"Everyone should get out there and market when consumers do have more money in their pocket," he says. "In the planning cycle that seems to be how people are imagining things will play out."

Marks, presenting the first results from a merged Fairfax-Nine, says all the business units are happy working together.

"People don't necessarily like to be told what to do," he says. "But if you can provide the right environment for them to collaborate they find out how they make it work for them."

Marks has had to integrate two different businesses and cultures, one with a newspaper heritage, the other as a television broadcaster.

He pointed to recent collaboration between the Nine Network, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Crown unmasked, a six-month joint investigation by 60 MINUTES, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, headed by investigative reporter Nick McKenzie and producer Grace Tobin, obtained tens of thousands of documents and internal files from Crown, Australia’s largest casino operator.

“It's a testament to the sorts of things that we can do in the future,” says Marks.

“The pleasing thing is both businesses are talking, collaborating and enjoying it.”

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