How are you feeling about the future of your agency and your job? Or if you’re primarily an independent contractor, what is your outlook? I am hearing anecdotally from friends in the business that things look pretty bleak on the horizon.
Then there are the press reports to weigh, which I will now do…
Let’s start with the NY Post:
The coronavirus pandemic could slash as much as $3 billion from advertising and marketing budgets in 2020, according to a new report.
“This is a global human disaster that impacts every company,” said Jack Myers, who authored the report and who has been tracking the ad spend market since the 1980s.
Okay, that has P-A-I-N written all over it.
Campaign US is also sharing some dire outlooks from ad pros and consultants.
Here are fragments from two assessments to consider.
Daniel Jeffries, Founder, Jeffries Consulting
I reckon we’ll see a 30-40 percent drop in ad investment over the next 12 months depending on how soon we come out of this which means a lot less service need from agencies.
Small agencies may be able to plow through but they will, no doubt, have to trim resources to the bone as cash flow will be their biggest threat.
Avi Dan, CEO, Avidan Strategies
During the 2008 recession, we saw advertising decline by 13%. The slowdown that lasted 3 years. This time, the coming recession will prove to be much more severe, both in terms of the ad spend deterioration, and the duration.
I do think we’ll see a lot of small agencies closing their doors due to plummeting cash flow, especially if the trend toward 120 days payment by clients continues.
Myers, Jeffries, and Dan are all offering sober assessments. I imagine it’s not what anyone wants to hear. It’s scary stuff to consider. Even so, it makes sense to recognize the fear and deal with it.
Take 40 percent of the industry’s income off the table this year and you’re taking four in 10 workers, minimum, off the table too.
If you have a job now, what is your plan should you all of a sudden have it no more?
If you’re an independent contractor, how will you land new business when there are fewer buyers for your services?
Here’s A Different Take from the CEO of the American Advertising Federation
I wonder what you think of this message, sent by email to members of AAF this morning:
We will all get through this together.
After all, we are “The Unifying Voice For Advertising”
I will submit to you that a combination of great leadership and authentic compassion will get us all through all of this.
And we will have a few more stories to tell.
Take care. Stay healthy. Be well.
— Steve Pacheco, AAF President & CEO
How do you feel about Pacheco’s message? Are you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside? Or do you want to throw a proverbial rock at the Google bus?
Figure It Out, Dude
Tham Khai Meng is the Worldwide Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy & Mather. He wants to be positive. Most leaders of large organizations do. So, people don’t panic.
Creativity isn’t about what you know, it’s about what you can figure out. This is the time to be creative.
— Khai (@ThamKhaiMeng) March 23, 2020
I do wonder what he means by “time to be creative.”
I feel like it is time to be ruthlessly honest with ourselves and everyone around us. It’s also time to be unbelievably resourceful. If that’s what “creative” means, I get it. If “get creative” means find a new way to make a living, that’s taking it to another uncomfortable place.