Since early March and the advent of ‘Rona, advertisers have been bracing for official estimates on just how much spending is predicted to drop in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now those numbers have arrived. TL;DR: It’s not looking great, but it could be worse.

If you don’t want the whole scoop from Adweek, here’s the sample spoon:

DROP AND GIVE ME TEN

Advertising had a good run for the last decade. The industry as a whole continued to expand; digital saw double-digit increases. GroupM’s mid-year forecast drops the dime on those hopes for 2020; they’re predicting a ten-percent decrease.

DANG IT…

Yeah. We feel the same way. But given the global effects of the coronavirus—currently at about 10 million cases and a half-million deaths worldwide—maybe we’re lucky.

“While severe to be sure, 2020’s decline can still be considered ‘modest’ given the scale of the impact of the pandemic on global GDP, which will fall by much more than it did in the 2009 global financial crisis,” the report stated. “During that year, when GDP declined by 1%, we estimate that global advertising fell by 11.2% in nominal terms.”

As much as we hate them, we can thank those endless political ads. The U.S. presidential election—not to mention statewide and local races—pump a lot of money into advertising markets, which helps to cushion the Rona’s blow. (How much dough are we talking? If U.S. political advertising disappeared overnight, television revenue would be down a stinging 17.65%. Ouch.)

COME BACK, BABY, COME BACK

A silver lining: pent-up consumer demand could make 2021 a banner year. With the pandemic on the run and economies rebounding in many countries, those markets may even make up for all the losses accrued in 2020. South Korea, which quarantined hard and tested extensively, is currently down only 2%. Countries which have dealt ineffectively are taking a big hit; Brazil is down 29%. So expect the U.S. market to snap back at a much slower pace at South Korea.

ADVERTISING ALSO #SaferAtHome

What’s (more) protected this year? In-home advertising, for obvious reasons. GroupM predicts out-of-home media (whose total includes digital) to drop a whopping 25% while we cocoon. Bye bye, billboards. Sayonara, cinema ads.

Digital advertising, “narrowly defined to exclude traditional media extensions,” may see a 2.4% dip—which sounds gentle by comparison, except that digital has seen double-digit increases for the last decade. Audio’s also turning down the volume (decreasing around 23%) and print will take a hit as well.

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