Early SMI Data: A tough start to a new advertising financial year

By Chris Pash | 19 August 2019

Early analysis of media agency advertising booking data shows a tough start to the 2020 financial year.

SMI data, analysed by investment bank UBS, shows an overall fall of 17.4% in media agency bookings in July.

This follows an 11.3% fall in June, excluding government spend, and a 4.9% drop for the full year to the end of the financial year. 

Metro TV bookings were down 11.4% for the first month of the financial year.

"This is an acceleration on recent declines (ThinkTV recently reported the metro TV market was down -5.0% yoy for the 6 months to 30-Jun-19)," writes UBS analysts Eric Choi, Tom Beadle and Minnie Tong in a note to clients.

"We think August bookings could potentially be soft as well."

UBS says the key drivers of weakness within TV: food/produce/dairy (down 25% or $6 million), media (down 58% or $4.5 million), domestic banks (drop 36% or $4 million), and gambling (down 37% or $4million).

"We note late digital bookings are accounted for later in the month, which will improve the digital growth rate," says UBS.

Regional TV bookings were down 2.9%, metro radio 9.1%, regional radio 9.4%, newspapers 16.1%, and outdoor 16.5%.

The SMI data suggests auto brand advertising has fallen for the outdoor sector.

The early numbers for July:

smi early july 2019

oOh!media last week released a special trading update, downgrading profit guidance, after a sharp decline in bookings. 

By advertiser, the weakest categories were food/produce/dairy (down 28% or $11 million), gambling (39% or $9 million), and domestic banks (27% or  $8 million).

The strongest categories were insurance (up 16% and $5 million) and political parties (up 153% or $3 million).

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