Pandemic Effect: 23% Decrease In Advertising Revenue In Q3

Advertising revenues for all media reached 4.532 billion euros in the third quarter of 2020, down 23.3% year-on-year (compared to -1.6% in September 2019), according to the unified advertising market barometer (BUMP) published by France Bump Pub, Irep, and Kantar. These figures include television, film, radio, press, outdoor advertising, advertising, and digital revenues. As of September 2020, the advertising market has lost 11% of its advertising portfolio, with a total of 46,150 advertisers across all media. More than one in 10 advertisers have not communicated since January. The barometer points out.

While 2020 will remain a black year for the advertising market, the losses recorded in the third quarter were less significant than the whole of the first half of 2020, thanks in particular to a summer period that benefited from a slight recovery in the confidence of the players.

At the end of September 2020, the trend in advertising volumes was comparable to that of revenues with a summer period, which showed encouraging signs for the market and activity up again for specific media segments and individual sectors. This improvement helped to contain the decline in the third quarter, but September’s re-entry was not as positive as hoped.

Digital Media less impacted by the crisis

While digital advertising revenues for television, radio, and the press are declining, the fall remains more contained than for other media, in the order of 8.1% (280 million euros). The decline is more marked if we include revenues related to digital outdoor advertising (DOOH), down 18.8% (360 million euros) compared to the third quarter of 2019.

Radio resists the best; cinema continues to dive

All five media, namely television, film, radio, press, and outdoor advertising fell by 22.2% in the first nine months of 2020, compared with -0.6% in the same period last year. As in the first half of the year, impacted by the crisis and the first containment, it is the radio that resists the best:

  • radio: -12.6% in Q3 2020 (vs. 1.9% in Q3 2019),
  • TELEVISION: -17.5% (vs -0.8% in Q3 2019),
  • press: -24.4% (vs -4.1% in Q3 2019),
  • cinema: -62.1% (vs. 0.4% in Q3 2019),
  • outdoor advertising: -33.4% (vs. 4% in Q3 2019).

All sectors affected, despite a mitigated sector decline.

The ranking of the top 10 sectors, all of which were impacted by the fall in the advertising market in the third quarter of 2020, remains broadly the same as in the first half of the year. However, the barometer notes that the evolution of investment and the share of votes has affected sectors unevenly, the decline of which has been relatively mitigated.

The impact has been more severe for sectors directly affected by health measures and new consumer habits. Leisure culture, catering, or fashion tourism these sectors have been virtually at a standstill for weeks and have not been able to restart quickly. So they have very negative results. (…) Among the sectors that fared better were services (-1%), which were punctuated by numerous campaigns by two types of advertisers. Restaurants or other services at home and the public sector (up 81%) have spoken mainly to inform, raise awareness and help consumers, the barometer says.

The evolution of advertising investment in the top 10 sectors between September 2019 and 2020. © France Pub / Irep / Kantar

A 2020 market in the decline of 7 billion euros, as in 1998

As of 1 November, the bump forecasts a 22% reduction in annual communication spending, down 7 billion euros. This is the largest decline in the market since 1998, above that recorded in 2009 (-8.4%). It remains to be seen how the market will react at the end of the year, with a second containment lighter than the previous one and the brands that have developed the click and collect to continue their activities, which have led them to continue to invest in advertising, especially in the run-up to Christmas.

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