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April 7, 2020, 2:02 p.m. EDT

Fitch sees 2020 advertising recession as a result of COVID-19, with effects lingering next year

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By Tomi Kilgore

The economic shock resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic will result in a "significant near-term pullback" in advertising, leading to an ad recession in 2020, according to Fitch Ratings. The credit rating agency expects overall ad spending to contract in the mid-to-high single-digits percentage range this year, and then declining in the low-to-mid-single digits range in 2021. U.S. TV viewing has increased, as people follow shelter-in-place restrictions, but while ad impressions will increase, the overall value of ads will decline because of the lack of sports and other live programming, Fitch said. Traditional media advertising, which declines expected in the low-to-high-teen range, will fare worse than digital advertising, which is expected to be more resilient. Print declines are expected to be in the low-double-digit to high-teens range while radio and outdoor ads are expected to fall in the low-double-digit range, as as time spent commuting and in automobiles are reduced. Large travel and leisure, auto, retail and restaurant advertisers are projected to have "heavily affected" by the ad market weakness, while the negative effect on political advertising is expected to be minimal. Among some public advertising companies, shares of both Omnicom Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209996569/composite OMC -2.63% and Interpublic Group of Companies /zigman2/quotes/203101491/composite IPG -2.52% have lost 32% year to date, while the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -1.12% has declined 16%.

/zigman2/quotes/209996569/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 51.55
-1.39 -2.63%
Volume: 3.11M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
12.02
Dividend Yield
5.04%
Market Cap
$11.08 billion
Rev. per Employee
$217,190
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/zigman2/quotes/203101491/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 17.83
-0.46 -2.52%
Volume: 4.54M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
15.45
Dividend Yield
5.72%
Market Cap
$6.95 billion
Rev. per Employee
$179,896
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/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,319.47
-37.54 -1.12%
Volume: 4.09B
Sept. 18, 2020 5:15p
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