Distribution of the impact of the coronavirus on the advertising industry

  • The coronavirus pandemic has upended the advertising industry, as well as other parts of the economy.
  • Here’s a breakdown of its impact on advertising, from layoffs and furloughs to event cancellations to campaign revisions.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The advertising industry has been disrupted by the coronavirus, along with other sectors of the global economy. Advertisers have halted spending as sales plummet, live sports audiences plummet and media companies and advertising and PR agencies lay off staff.

JPMorgan Chase analysts said the largest and most indebted companies, such as WPP and Publicis, and those most exposed to Asia, such as Dentsu, are most at risk of advertisers cutting spending, while IPG could fare better thanks to its data and healthcare businesses.

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The cancellation of sports and live events has been a headache for television networks and media companies like The Atlantic and The Athletic, leading some to lay off staff while others have turned to events virtual.

Lily After:

Marketers tweaked their message to make sure it’s good for now:

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The pandemic has sparked debate over advertisers’ practice of avoiding hard news, which has made it difficult for news publishers from BuzzFeed to TheSkimm to monetize big readership gains.

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Going forward, the coronavirus is expected to have a lasting impact on the

advertising industry


Find out the long-term impact of the virus here:

  • Ad insiders say retailers like Walmart, CVS and Instacart are starting to chip away at Amazon’s ad stronghold during the pandemic
  • CEOs of WPP, Publicis, Edelman and more explain how the pandemic will change advertising, from shrinking office space to improving creative output
  • ‘It will fundamentally reshape the ad industry’: Advertising insiders at Burger King, Freshly, McCann and Vita Coco say coronavirus will dramatically change the business
  • CEOs of PR firms like Edelman and BCW reveal why they’re focused on winning over advertising and consulting firms emerging from the pandemic
  • 16 media buyers have identified the media companies poised to gain and lose the most as the pandemic upends ad spend
  • Facebook and Google could get crushed by the thousands of small businesses hit by the coronavirus, but their huge ad companies will come out stronger in the end
  • In leaked memos, Sir Martin Sorrell describes the pandemic as an opportunity to acquire ‘distressed’ ad agencies and reveals his company S4 Capital has applied for government grants

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