Ad spend bookings slow post federal election

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 1 June 2022

The ad spend canary has been flying lower and slower post the federal election.

Spend, as measured by media agency bookings, was up 5.5% in pre-election April, ensuring a record for the first four months of 2022.

The monthly result itself was not at a record level due to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April 2018, along with a boost in bank advertising ahead of the financial services royal commission.

The key driver of April’s advertising demand was pre-federal election-related ad spend.

The SMI (Standard Media Index) reported huge year-on-year growth in bookings from the Government (up 83.5% on Aprtil 2021) and Political Party/ Assoc/Unions (up 309%) Product Categories.

"But when we remove those categories from the database we can see the underlying market demand is weaker," says SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe.

Total bookings, minus the election ad spend, were back 0.4% year-on-year.

The market is going to be searching for a new direction following the election, says Ractliffe.

SMI’s forward bookings already show confirmed ad spend for June is already at lower than expected levels.

In the month of April the fastest growing media were Outdoor and Cinema.

Outdoor bookings grew 16.7% and Cinema ad spend more than doubled,

TV was up 0.2% and radio 0.6%.

Stand-alone newspaper ad spend grew 7.4%. And both Press and Radio ad spend grew by even larger amounts with
related Digital ad spend included.

The SMI data also highlights the market’s recent strength post COVID, with both the calendar and financial year bookings at record levels, with the financial year totals through $7 billion for the first time in a ten-month period.

smi april 2022

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