According to the latest Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report – UK adspend is expected to fall by -15.6% this year – a slight upgrade on earlier forecasts. However, the market won’t return to growth until Q2 2021. Our Michelle Morgado, Media Director, analysed the findings:

The latest AA/WARC expenditure report demonstrates the fragility of UK advertising due to the impact of COVID-19. With the possibility of a second lockdown, government guidelines being revised often, and continued uncertainty around Brexit, it’s difficult to truly establish when we will start seeing a recovery in UK advertising spend.

Although the 2020 spend numbers paint a bleak picture, those advertisers who have continued to spend during lockdown, such as supermarkets and FMCG, have reaped the benefits of a deflationary market, numbers not seen since the last recession. Digital marketing has remained resilient during this time as consumers shift media consumption online, although not all have benefited. Interestingly Google is down for the first time ever, and Twitter is also having a difficult time, showing there is nuance to the digital story.

The big shift to eCommerce also has big consequences for brand messaging and marketing strategies. In this context, having a strong brand has become even more important in order to stand out, and brands shouldn’t lose sight of the impact of brand building, in particular in driving long-term performance coming out of the current recession.

Marketing will be critical to recovery efforts after this crisis. With this in mind, incentives such as the Advertising Associations Tax scheme will go a long way in encouraging advertisers to spend. However new HFSS restrictions poised for 2022 will only add further red tape. As such, brands need to remain agile and continue to optimise on a regular basis, and need to be in tune with consumer sentiment, spending power, and consumption patterns.


Read the full article in Mediatel, here.

First featured 31/07/2020.

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