Global Advertising To Sink 8.1% -- A $50 Billion Drop -- In 2020

Global advertising spend is expected to see a steep drop of 8.1% this year -- with the travel & tourism, entertainment and financial advertising categories taking major hits.

WARC Global Advertising Trends estimates there will be a $49.6 billion pullback to $563 billion this year due to “severe” cuts in media investment from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Travel & tourism will see the worst declines -- 31.2% -- while leisure & entertainment will be down 28.7%, financial services will be cut back 18.2%, retail will fall 15.2% and automotive will lose 11.4%.

With regard to financial services, the analysis indicates that this category will drop along with consumer spending, due to consumers “whose disposable income is now heavily diminished.”

On the plus side, it says pharmaceutical marketers will gain. In addition, marketers in the areas of health care and well-being will include “brands not normally associated with the field.”

Traditional media advertising spending will drop 16.3% -- for what amounts to a loss of $51.4 billion from 2019 levels.

In-theater advertising spending will sink 31.6%, while out-of-home will decline 21.7%, magazines will lose 21.5%, newspapers will drop 19.5%, radio will fall 16.2%, and television will be 13.8% lower.

Digital advertising spending is estimated to be virtually flat for 2020 -- up 0.6%. A previous February WARC estimate showed a 13.2% increase for 2020.

The best-performing digital media platforms will be social media, up 9.8%; digital video, 5.0% more; and online search, adding 0.9%.

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