Montreal shows first significant rebound in radio buying: Media Monitors

Plus, for the first time in nearly three months, a retailer topped Toronto over the provincial government.

Retailer Rona purchased the most radio ad units in Toronto last week – a grand total of 1,948 – making it the most active buyer in the market. That’s according to the Media Monitors charts for the week ending June 14.

It marks the first time since March that the Ontario Government (which was close behind with 1,717 ads) was not the top buyer in Toronto. With some of the previously paused national and local campaigns now resuming (even as Toronto is slower to open than the rest of Ontario), ads in other categories have begun to pick up.

That’s not to say government advertising is slowing down significantly. The Government of Canada purchased a new round of 920 ads after several weeks away from the radio buying charts.

Rounding out the top-five were Allstate with 834 ads and the Honda Dealer Association with 784 spots.

As far as categories go, government and unions were still the top advertiser, with a total of 2,780 ads (a 50% increase from the previous week), thanks to a boost from the federal government.

Most categories in Toronto are growing. Home centres and hardware stores, the second-largest category, grew by 23% to 2,032. Other big increases came from the finance sector (up 31% to 1,620), car and truck dealer associations (up 41% to 1,455) and cars and trucks (Asian factory), which grew more than 100 times from eight to 921.

Other modest increases came from public service, business and consumer products and home improvement product and services. There were modest decreases in insurance providers, while television and cable TV buys were cut in half.

It’s also worth noting that buying among the top non-government categories is up significantly. Data from late May showed that when subtracting the government and unions category, the top-five buying categories in Toronto had purchased just over 7,500 ads in total during the week ending May 31, putting it at about 75% of its pre-pandemic levels. Excluding government and unions, the top-five buying categories are now at 82.3% of their pre-COVID buying levels.

There’s also been several noteworthy rebounds in the Montreal market, where (throughout May and June) categories have been slower to ramp up their buying than in Toronto.

For top buyers, the provincial government held steady with both its position at the top and its buying amount of just over 800. Three Bell properties – Bell Internet and TV, Bell and CTV – followed with just over 300 spots each. Virgin Mobile (which Bell Mobility has a 50% stake in Canada) rounded out the top-five with 305 spots. Auto dealers also jumped into the mix with Chevrolet, Hyundai and Nissan all purchasing more than 250 ads after not appearing on the charts the week prior.

Government and unions were the largest advertising category in Montreal, with a total of 1,130 spots (up from 830). Other big growth categories included public service (up 28% to 618 spots), domestic factory cars and trucks (up more than 300% to 590), cars and trucks, Asian factory (up more than tenfold to 532), home and hardware stores (nearly doubled to 460), and phone services (tripled to 314).

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