Advertising spend across the UK media fell by more than £1bn year on year during the coronavirus lockdown, according to figures that reveal the government has become the UK’s biggest advertiser during the pandemic. UK advertising spend on traditional media – TV, newspapers and magazines, radio and cinema as well as on poster sites and billboards across the country – almost halved from the start of lockdown on 23 March to the end of June. With the public told to stay at home, high streets shut and travel halted, many companies froze marketing budgets, resulting in a 48% fall in ad spend from £2.3bn to £1.2bn year on year. “There was no guidebook on how to navigate advertising during the lockdown period, with customers restricted to home environments and an unclear exit strategy,” said Barney Farmer, the UK commercial director at Nielsen, which compiled the figures. McDonald’s, which shut its 1,000 restaurants in the UK and Ireland from late March and did not reopen for eat-in meals until last month, cut its budget by 97% from £43.5m to £1.3m. Sky, which suffered a £575m revenue fall during the pandemic, with sports such as Premier League football suspended, slashed its budget… Read full this story
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