Skip to main content
News 4 May 2021 - 2 min read

SMI: ‘Mind-boggling’ numbers for agency ad spend rebound in April, May

By Sam Buckingham-Jones - Senior Writer

SMI has released its latest monthly agency ad spend figures.

The Australian agency ad market is roaring back to life, showing 20 per cent growth in April and expected strong growth in May.

What you need to know:

  • Australia’s media agency market grew 2.1% in March, according to SMI data.
  • Early figures for April and May show 20% plus growth.
  • SMI’s Jane Ractliffe says the numbers are “mindboggling”, but are coming from a low, post-Covid base.
  • Early data is showing Outdoor returning to growth in April, after a horror year.

Media spend in Australia has started showing record growth, with Standard Media Index (SMI) figures showing 2 per cent growth in March but more than 20 per cent expected for April and May.

One year on from the Covid-induced lockdown that sent ad spend into a downward spiral, a $116 million surge in Digital bookings meant 15.6 per cent growth for Digital as a whole in March. In other categories for the month:

  • Programmatic media jumped 28 per cent.
  • Social Media spend rose 20.1 per cent.
  • Search bookings jumped 16.5 per cent.

Broadcast TV performed well, increasing 7.2 per cent, while Radio had a March increase of 0.2 per cent.

SMI’s Forward Bookings data shows April data is up 20 per cent – excluding digital – from last year’s Covid lows. For May, data from Late April – before the month began – showed spend at just $900,000 below last year’s May total, SMI AU/NZ Managing Director Jane Ractliffe says.

“We’re now heading into uncharted territory as we’ve never before seen such huge growth in ad spend and expect to be reporting record levels of growth over the next few months,” she says. “But of course it’s coming from an extremely low base.”

The numbers are “mind-boggling”, Ractliffe says.

The very early April numbers are showing:

  • Food/Produce/Dairy advertisers growing budgets by 68 per cent.
  • Home Furnishing/Appliances is already up 129 per cent.
  • Gambling is up 162 per cent.

Outdoor and Radio bookings are also up for April, by 9.4 per cent and 16.6 per cent respectively.

Share your reaction (and see how others voted)

Leave a comment (you must be logged in)

Be the first to comment

Search Mi3 Articles

Make it personal

Join Mi3 to receive our weekly edition and personalise your experience