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July 12, 2022

Media spending slows down in May

One of our brightest media sparks, Sue Cant, was recently featured in a piece from AdNews on the current state of ad spending post-election and in light of the latest economic figures. Here’s a snapshot of the article and what Sue had to say.  

Media agencies on the chilling May ad spend slide

The ad spend market has suddenly cooled, despite the frenzied cross channel media chest beating of a federal election. But media agencies see a strong market ahead for the second half of the year. 

May came in with negative ad spend, down 0.9% to $730 million, according to SMI (Standard Media Index). On closer inspection, the fall was against a record May of 2021 and ad spend was still above the last federal election in May 2019.

And the aggregated media agency numbers, which broke a run of 16 months in a row of increases, exclude direct spend by Clive Palmer’s UAP. But if political ad spend was excluded, the month would look naked, exposed to a chilling economic climate. 

Is this a start of a trend or is it just temporary nerves, a reaction to bad economic news -- surging inflation, rising bank interest rates and expensive petrol?

Sue Cant, AFFINITY: “May was obviously dominated by election/government spending with other categories pulling out from May and redistributing spends into June, and not many surprises or major call outs from a media channel perspective.

“Let’s not forget May 2021 was the largest ever May on record, so it’s hard to truly compare apples with apples here! And we should be mindful that although overall May '22 spends are slightly lower YOY, it is still a stronger picture than the last major election period of May '19 which is the truer comparison.

“Whilst spend is back from Apr '22, I’d imagine there is still lots of high-fiving going on with our friends at Val Morgan, rightly so looking at the cinema data; +61%. Testament again to finally being able to release some of those films we all knew would be box office hits but were delayed over the last two years. I for one contributed to the Jurassic and Top Gun admission numbers; and given the relentless rain in NSW currently, I can only imagine this rise will have continued when we get to see June and July data too!

“It’s not surprising that from a category perspective, auto is still suffering as they try to get back on an even footing post supply issues.

“Interesting to see SMI making the move to separate the financial services category by product type, and to now include new fintech companies giving us a much more accurate view of this category finally.”

You can read the full article here. And if you’d like to speak to our media team about implications for your brand, feel free to get in touch. Reach out to Sue by email –


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