Eighty per cent of multinationals defer campaigns amid Covid-19, WFA
09-04-2020 13:08:00 | Editor: Bob Koigi | hits: 2774 | Tags:

Four out of every five marketers in major multinationals are postponing planned campaigns due to the Coronavirus crisis, a new research by World Federation of Advertisers shows.

34 per cent are have deferred these campaigns for between one to two months, 28 per cent for a quarter while 13 per cent say they are waiting for six months before they can bring the campaigns back to the market.

This, even as 79 per cent of marketers look at new ways of reaching their clients by creating new messages that respond directly to the huge effect of the crisis on the people who use their products and services. Fifty percent of these new messages have already started running or are about to go live and a further 29 per cent plan to start creating new messages soon.

The survey notes that the overall result of these changes is a dip in yearly marketing budgets with 57 per cent of respondents saying they are cutting spend and 32 per cent showing no change.

These numbers are based on a survey of 32 World Federation of Advertisers member companies with a cumulative annual marketing budget of close to $60billion and spread across 10 industry sectors. The data was collected between March 25th and 30th. 69 percent of respondents had global responsibilities with 31 per cent in regional roles.

In a separate poll of 58 media leaders conducted during a WFA member webinar on 31st March, respondents anticipated an average reduction in media budgets of 23 per cent. Twenty-one percent of the sample predicted cuts of 40 per cent or more.

The survey also finds that marketers have been mindful of the impact of the cut in spend on their industry partners. Eighty percent have already “provided guidance, to industry partners” relating to this and how they plan to operate in the short-term.

Anecdotal responses to the survey indicate a notable focus on “zero-based thinking”, with members looking to be useful to their people, customers and partners in the short term, whilst planning effectively for the longer term. The full survey results are available here.

Reflecting the move by brands to respond to the Coronavirus crisis, the WFA has been building a “Covid Compendium”, an open source platform for the industry to share campaigns and actions that can inspire others. The site is now live at www.wfanet.org/covid.

Stephan Loerke, CEO of the WFA: “Despite the huge constraints on our members’ businesses, I believe we are witnessing brands mobilizing with empathy and utility on a scale hitherto unseen. Brands around the world are adopting very human, often brave, approaches to supporting society at a time of dire need. Critically, many are equally showing solidarity to their agencies and partners understanding that their supply chains need their support now more than ever.”