Four in five multinationals are deferring campaigns

Loerke: 'Brands are adopting very human approaches to supporting society'
Loerke: 'Brands are adopting very human approaches to supporting society'

Same number are creating new messages that respond to impact of pandemic on people's lives.

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."

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