Bright Spots In SMI's Ad Spend Report: Q2, And Retail, Are Both Up.


While Standard Media Index's reported 3% ad spend decline trend for June 2022 compared to a year ago may stoke fears of a recession, there is the proverbial silver lining in this cloud.

During June, the retail ad category hit peak levels as discount stores took advantage of rising consumer prices to attract value shoppers, quadrupling its year-over-year ad spend in the process. Retail was one of five categories to boost spend in June, compared to 10 during the months of first quarter 2022. Among those categories lowering their ad spend for the first time this year were entertainment and media, and financial services.


There's even some good news in SMI's quarterly breakout of media channel spend trends, where total ad industry spend for Q2 2022 remains in the plus column, up 2% year-over-year. As the lift isn't as significant as in first quarter, when spend was up 14% vs. a year earlier, most channels saw a downtrend in ad spend. Radio, which was up 8% in Q1 2022, was off 12% in second quarter.


Television is trending right alongside radio, down 11% year-over-year vs. its 2% gain in Q1. Even out-of-home and digital, the only two channels still displaying spend growth in Q2, saw that growth rate take a hit compared to first quarter.


Concerns about a coming recession have been a major factor in bringing down ad investment, according to SMI's analysis. “While the NFL season and [the] Olympics bolstered early 2022 activity, consecutive months steadily tapered,” the report notes.

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