No UK ad market recovery before 2021, adland predicts

Majority thinks market will contract at least 40% in Q2.

Recovery: two-thirds do not expect ad market to return to growth this year
Recovery: two-thirds do not expect ad market to return to growth this year

The advertising industry is bracing itself for a downturn lasting until at least the start of next year, a Campaign survey has shown.

Of more than 1,000 registered users responding to a poll on the Campaign site, almost two-thirds (63.1%) said they did not expect the UK ad market to return to growth this year.

While 26.5% anticipated a bounceback in the first quarter of 2021, 19.2% predicted this in the second quarter and 17.5% thought there would not be a return to growth until the third quarter of next year at the earliest.

A sizeable minority have a more optimistic view of the future, with 28.4% – the biggest single answer – saying they thought the market would rebound in the final quarter of this year.

However, just 8.5% expected a bounceback in the third quarter.

In a separate question, respondents gave a stark view of the immediate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the ad market, with three in five (59.5%) saying the current quarter, April to June, would see the market contract by at least 40% – with 24.1% estimating a 40% decline, 22.6% saying a 50% drop and 12.8% expecting a brutal hit of at least 60%. 

Again, the most common answer to this question was more measured, with 26.2% of participants predicting a 30% decline. That said, only 12.4% forecast a 20% fall and just 1.9% thought the damage would be limited to 10%.

Last week’s IPA Bellwether Report showed that the net balance between the number of marketers reporting rising and falling budgets was at its lowest point since 2009.

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