Friday 14 August 2020

Advertising incomes fall by around 30% as coronavirus hits spending

Social distancing posters replaced commercial adverts. Photo: N van der Pas

Advertisers have seen their income drop substantially in the first half of 2020 as consumer spending plunged and large events were cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Ster organisation, which manages advertising space on public broadcasting channels, said its turnover had dropped from €95 million in the first six months of 2019 to €68 million this year, a 30% fall.

‘Viewers and listeners have noticed, because advertising breaks were shorter than usual or scrapped altogether,’ director Frank Volmer told NOS. ‘The coronavirus crisis has had a big impact. A lot of advertisers have cut or abolished their budget.’

The cancellation of major events such as the European football championships and the Eurovision song contest have also deprived advertisers of peak time slots. Online advertising has increased, but accounts for a much smaller share of total income.

Billboard owners have also seen their income drop because fewer companies are paying for space. Otherwise empty billboards have been used to advertise charities or to broadcast the government’s social distancing rules.

Bart de Vries, of outdoor advertising firm JCDecaux, would not disclose exact figures, bu said: ‘We have seen a significant dip. That’s not so unusual when you see how many people have been forced to stay indoors.’

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