The global pandemic led to record declines in ad spend levels across some major advertising markets between March and May, according to new data from advertising intelligence firm Standard Media Index.
Using media agency billing data, SMI tracked spending across the United States, the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand from the beginning of the pandemic until the end of May.
It found that spending across the five markets dropped by an average of 28.2% as advertisers pulled back amid fears of a global recession.
SMI CEO James Fennessy said that the pandemic’s impact is “far more severe” than the 2008-09 global recession, when the year-over-year spending declines never exceeded 16%. The good news, said Fennessy, is that SMI’s data shows all five countries showing “strengthening” demand in June, with the U.S. emerging as one of the best performing markets.