More than a third of media buyers and brands have now paused ad spend: IAB report
Although it’s early days, the second quarter is poised for a slight rebound when compared to previous levels, as marketers adjust creative and ad spend amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report released Thursday by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
Despite the uptick, however, overall ad spend is still projected to be off-plan for the quarter.
The IAB surveyed nearly 300 media planners and brands between April 15 and April 21 for its report, which arrives roughly a month after it released a similar study. Overall, 82 percent said they are either adjusting or pausing ad spend for the second quarter, up from 74 percent when compared to the same time last month.
Specifically, 37 percent say they have paused ad spend, up from 24 percent month over month; 45 percent said they have adjusted ad spend, which remains flat (45 percent) when compared to the same time period, the IAB says. The increase is the result of respondents who were previously undecided as to whether they would adjust ad spend, the report says.
Brands are also turning to digital channels that allow them to quickly adjust messaging in creative, which is benefiting digital video, audio and search (up 4 percent). Traditional media, such as linear radio and direct mail, are all seeing slight declines (5 percent), the report says.
Overall, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) said they either have adjusted their messaging or intend to do so during the second quarter, while the remaining 27 percent are leaving their creative as is, the report says. About 58 percent of those who are making adjustments are including coronavirus messaging in their creative.
Meanwhile, publishers continue to get hit during the pandemic, as advertisers opt to blacklist any content that mentions COVID-19. The report says that roughly 4 percent of media buyers who originally blacklisted coronavirus content have since loosened their restrictions while 24 percent have increased their use of blacklisting.
The report did include some bright spots. About 18 percent of respondents said they are reallocating ad dollars initially earmarked for sports to esports, which has seen a surge in viewership on platforms such as Twitch as consumers bunker in during social distancing.