The coronavirus pandemic is upending the advertising business, along with other swaths of the economy.
Here is a breakdown of how the pandemic is impacting advertising, from layoffs and furloughs to events cancellations to softening sales for startups.
The advertising business has been upended by the coronavirus, along with other sectors of the global economy. Advertisers have hit the breaks in spending as sales plummet, audiences for live sports have fallen, and layoffs rip through media and advertising agencies.
JPMorgan Chase analysts said the largest and most heavily leveraged companies, like WPP and Publicis, and those most exposed in Asia, like Dentsu, are most at risk from advertisers cutting spending, while IPG could fare better because of its data and healthcare business.
Live events have been particularly devastated by the coronavirus as in-person gatherings have been cancelled to prevent the spread of the pandemic, leading events-dependent businesses like The Atlantic to lay off staff and others to shift to virtual events.
The cancelation of big sporting events is a headache for TV networks who are betting big on live sports for ad revenue and advertisers who have to find those audiences elsewhere. According to ad-buying agency Magna Global, the networks that were planned to air live sports will take a drastic viewership hit.
Marketers are scrambling to make sure all their messaging is right for the moment, even pulling entire campaigns in some cases, while some are taking advantage of low ad rates to boost spending. Media buyers are trying to keep up with all the disruptions, and agencies are figuring out how to win new business through remote pitching.
The pandemic has stirred up debate about advertisers' practice of avoiding hard news, which is making it hard for news publishers from BuzzFeed to TheSkimm to monetize big readership gains. Meanwhile, investors offer advice for media companies on how to make it through the downturn.
Looking ahead, the coronavirus is expected to have a lasting impact on the advertising industry.
Read about the virus' long-term impact here:
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