Nielsen has provided some insight into ad spending in the UK lockdown with figures for March – when the lockdown started – showing adspend on travel (down 48%) entertainment (-17%) and telecoms (-15%) plummeting. These categories were down £39m.
Food and government spending were both up (18% and 22%) as were supermarkets. The biggest risers were online retailing (+208%), mail order (+40%) and leisure equipment (+37%.)
By medium TV did best with £412m (+4%) with Unilever (£10m) and Procter & Gamble (£9.4m) the top two TV advertisers (cancellation penalties need to be borne in mind here.) NHS England spent £3.9m on TV advertising. Asda, Aldi and Tesco spent £3.7m, £3m and £2.1m respectively.
Cinema was down 94% (most were closed), press spend fell by 38% to £15m, Out of Home fell 22% and radio 20%.
Nielsen UK commercial director Barney Farmer says: “Looking ahead to the coming months, it’s clear these March results represent just the beginning of the shifts in spend we will continue to see. The question of which ad sectors will return and how much advertising spend will be injected back into the market will depend on many factors – the most important of which will be the Government’s guidance on what, when and how we can move about freely.”
The answer seems to be not very. Time to fasten the seat belts because it’s a (very) bumpy ride.