National associations see significant budget cuts among advertisers, but slight optimism looming
Associations in Belgium, Bolivia, Denmark, France, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden survey COVID-19’s impact on their members
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According to WFA’s latest COVID-19 Response Tracker, multinationals are likely to do more budget cuts and hold back their ad spending for six months or more, with 92% agreeing that the global health crisis will have a long-term impact on the way they operate. As ongoing Coronavirus member surveys by several national associations indicate, this sentiments and cuts are echoed at a national level at varying rates, but with advertisers in several markets having a more optimistic outlook for the coming months and already preparing for gradual recovery.
Belgium: Marketers concerned about the future, plan to focus on e-commerce and digitisation
UBA Belgium’s member survey conducted in April found that nearly half (48%) of marketers surveyed are very concerned about the future of their company. Marketing and media budgets are in decline, with the trend likely to continue over the rest of the year. 88% of brands have deferred one or more of their advertising campaigns in light of COVID-19. Despite this, 85% of brands have created response campaigns focused mainly on raising awareness and providing information for consumers, with 60% of these campaigns already realised or going live soon. Belgian marketers surveyed indicated they will focus on strengthening their e-commerce presence and digitising their offers in the coming months and emphasised on the importance of cooperation and solidarity during these times.
Bolivia: Ad spend in decline, but marketers remain optimistic
Cuts in advertising spend could exceed 30% among national and multinational companies in the country, according to ANDA Bolivia’s member survey. Traditional media channels will be most affected by the cuts and 70% of ad budgets will be allocated to digital, with production of new campaigns focused on digital channels. All marketers surveyed indicated that they have implemented a strategy in place in response to the health crisis and indicated strategic speed, creativity, reinvention of content and media and industry collaboration as attributes the advertising industry must have to face up to challenges in the coming months.
Denmark: Marketers have bleak outlook for next 12 months
8 out of 10 marketers expect a deteriorating or significantly deteriorating economy over the next 12 months, according to Dansk Annoncørforening’s member survey. 95% of companies surveyed indicated they have already postponed or cancelled their marketing activities, which will likely have a big impact on total media investments this year. Nearly half have cut their marketing budgets for 2020, with traditional media such as print and outdoor hit the hardest.
France: Brands prepare for gradual recovery and resumption of advertising activities
The second wave of Union des marques’ COVID-19 barometer found that 56% of marketers are planning to maintain, or even increase, their advertising activities from May to September. This first sign of gradual recovery follows the rapid decline in ad spending in France in March and April. Investments in traditional media such as TV and radio are predicted to slowly increase in the coming months. 8 out of 10 brands also plan to change their marketing messages after the country’s lockdown ends, with a focus on messages around branded utility, security and their social commitments.
Norway: Marketers slightly more optimistic than previous months
1 out of 3 marketers do not expect their companies to be negatively impacted by the health crisis, according to the third wave of ANFO’s Coronatracker member survey. Smaller cuts in marketing budgets are expected for the second quarter of 2020 compared to previous months, although this tends to vary among industries. 9 out of 10 marketers surveyed indicated that they have adjusting their marketing plan in terms of messaging and content. 12% have also moved their investments from the tech platforms to local media to support the media sector greatly affected by COVID-19 and budget cuts.
Spain: Advertisers estimate 6 1/2 months for recovery of investments
AEA and SCOPEN’s TREND SCORE special COVID-19 barometer found that advertisers are predicting a period of six and a half months (around first quarter of 2021) for the recovery of advertising investments once Spain’s lockdown is lifted. 72% respondents indicated they have cut their ad spending, with 22% saying they have kept their investments and 6% saying they have increased their spending. Despite budget cuts, 91% of advertisers are moderately optimistic about the advertising industry’s recovery, especially around digital media investments.
Portugal: Less ad spending cuts compared to other markets
The TREND SCORE barometer was also carried out in Portugal by APAN and SCOPEN and found that 64% of advertisers have reduced their ad spending, with 33% saying they have kept their investments. The initial impact of Portugal’s lockdown on the advertising industry has been less compared to Spain and other countries more affected by the health crisis.
Sweden: COVID-19 to have a big negative impact on Swedish brands
48% of Swedish advertisers predict that the health crisis will have a big negative impact on their company, according to the 2nd wave of Sveriges Annonsörer’s member survey, slightly less than previous months at 51%. 65% of companies have cut down on their marketing investments, with print and outdoor hit the hardest. Whether marketers are moving their budgets from the tech platforms to local media, 5% indicated they have already done so.