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February 12 2018

Australia: Ad Spend Analysis – “TV Gets Its Mojo Back”

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A turnaround in TV, strong gains in digital and outdoor, and continuing decline in print, according to figures released by the Standard Media Index.
TV networks have  become more sophisticated with their digital offerings and clients are starting to ‘lean in’, Lucy Formosa Morgan (PHD chief investment officer, PHD Australia) tells industry news source.


AdNews approached senior media buyers to analyse the results and what it means for each media channel in 2018.

The ‘record year’ in bookings was driven by strong demand from the retail, automotive and government sectors as well as renewed interest from banks. The figures also received injections of spend around the same sex marriage vote and the Queensland election.

“This time last year the market was extremely cautious as there were no scheduled events in 2017 that were expected to spur advertising demand,” SMI ANZ managing director Jane Schulz says.

“But you never know what’s around the corner, and in the second half of this year we’ve seen especially strong growth from the government category due to advertising surrounding the same sex marriage debate and the Queensland election, with the category providing an extra $53.6 million to the market in this period.”

The results are all the more impressive given that in 2016 media bookings were buoyed by the Rio Olympic Games and federal election. This year, notable events that will bolster the market include the Commonwealth Games, Winter Olympics and the Victorian state election.

Omnicom Media Group chief investment officer Kristiaan Kroon tells AdNews the past year has seen what he labels “channel normalisation”.

“By that I mean that TV declines are slowing and out of home and digital growth also slowed,” he says.

“That was a very strong feature of the back half and we expect that to continue into 2018. It’s a very low growth marketplace and there will be a lot less money moving between channels.”

TV’s turnaround

One of the main takeaways from 2017 is the turnaround in television as an advertising platform. In 2017, media bookings in TV declined by 0.7% across the market, but metropolitan free-to-air ad revenue actually grew by 1.4% to $1.5 billion in the second half of the year.

This is a significant turnaround on the 3.1% decline in TV ad revenue in the second half of 2016, and media buyers are confident TV has turned a corner after more than three years of decline.

PHD chief investment officer Lucy Formosa Morgan tells AdNews advertisers realise TV still works as a mass reach medium and this trend will continue.

“The demand is still strong and the government brought in a fair bit of cash with the same sex plebiscite and the Queensland election, then there was the Ashes at the end. We’re finding demand is strong in Q1 of this year as well,” she says.

Formosa Morgan tells AdNews TV networks have become more sophisticated with their digital video offerings and clients are starting to “lean in”.

“Connected TV is a whole new area that is also starting to open,” she adds. “The networks are coming to the party in terms of finding opportunities advertisers and viewers where they are actually viewing.”

Kroon believes TV’s turnaround is due to better content and “they’ve got their proposition to market much better”.

“They probably benefited from not so great stories coming out of digital, but it’s more than that, confidence is returning. TV certainly got its mojo back in 2017,” Kroon adds.


For the full article, authored by Arvind Hickman on, click here

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