Multinational companies are overwhelmingly choosing to delay planned campaigns as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the slowdown in most forms of consumer spending.
In a survey of a group of major brands by the World Federation of Advertisers, 81% of marketers said they were deferring campaigns. Most are planning relatively short delays, with 34% having initiated a delay of one to two months and 28% delaying for a quarter. But 13% said they would wait six months before resuming their campaigns.
More than half (57%) of participants said they were cutting their spend. That is despite a large majority (79%) saying they were creating new messages that respond directly to the impact of the crisis on their consumers.
The WFA surveyed 32 member companies across 10 sectors, with a collective annual marketing spend of almost $60bn (£48.8bn). Of the respondents, 69% had global responsibilities, with others in regional roles.
In a separate poll carried out by the WFA of 58 media leaders, they anticipated an average fall in media budgets of 23% – with one in five respondents expecting cuts of 40% or more.
Stephan Loerke, chief executive of the WFA, said: "Despite the huge constraints on our members’ businesses, I believe we are witnessing brands mobilising 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."