Advertisers are cutting more than £700m from their marketing budgets in the run-up to Christmas, as the pandemic puts paid to the big budget extravaganzas that normally bombard the public over the festive season. While the annual Christmas advertising battle will be as fiercely fought as ever, with a total of £6.2bn spent across the fourth quarter, consumers are unlikely to see glitzy tie-ups such as Mariah Carey’s reportedly £9m deal to promote Walkers festive-themed crisps last year. UK advertisers are forecast to spend £724m less than last year, a 10.5% fall. This would be the biggest percentage drop for the so-called “golden” quarter since the industry bodies the Advertising Association (AA) and Warc began compiling figures in 1982. While the AA/Warc forecast points the finger at factors including the increased likelihood of sustained localised lockdowns over the winter, a disorderly Brexit and rising unemployment, those in the ad industry say brands are struggling with what tone to strike this year because of the pandemic. “Brand owners and their agencies are wrestling with what is the right tone and what is the right scale to adopt this Christmas,” said James Murphy, a co-founder of the New Commercial Arts agency, who… Read full this story
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