Media buyers expect ad spend bounce-back: Food and tech most optimistic

Jul 28, 2020 | Ad tech, Content marketing, Online advertising, UK

Media buyers expect ad spend bounce-back: Food and tech most optimistic
Media buyers are bullish about the return of ad spend despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with the food and tech sectors evoking the most confidence, according to new research.

The study, from FreeWheel, a Comcast Company, targeted media agencies, DSPs and direct advertisers, and looked at buy-side perceptions of advertising in the UK, France and Germany in the current environment.

When asked whether specific sectors would see a resumption in ad spend, UK respondents were most positive about the food industry (100%) and the tech sector (77%).

When asked about other sectors, two-thirds were confident about the return of ad spend in the telecoms (68%), beauty (65%), and financial services sectors (61%). Over half (55%) of respondents expressed confidence about an ad spend bounce-back for automotive.

Confidence across the three regions as a whole was slightly more cautious than in the UK when it came to ad spend on food (84%), technology (65%), and beauty (53%). The one area that bucked this trend was travel, where almost half (49%) expected spending to resume, as opposed to 35% in the UK.

The survey also asked media buyers what they thought advertising strategies would look like in the coming months. An overwhelming majority of UK respondents (68%) expected advertisers to invest the most in TV broadcasting and over-the-top video. In addition to this, over half of respondents (55%) planned to allocate more than 10% of their budgets towards ‘new TV’ or digital / advanced TV, which includes set-top-boxes, video-on-demand, over-the-top, addressable TV, and internet protocol TV.

The survey also indicated a move to more targeted or addressable techniques in general, with a third (31%) of respondents expecting to rely more heavily on data-based targeting.

Virginie Dremeaux, Executive Director, Product and Sales Marketing International, FreeWheel, said of the findings: “The advertising industry is entering a new phase after a long period of uncertainty. Our research hopefully provides reassurance as media buyers have expressed cross-sector confidence about ad spend. The study also provides insights into future media spend. Specifically, TV looks to remain a mainstay for media buyers, with an added focus on data-driven strategies, which indicates a focus on quality and return on investment for clients.”


The survey was carried out by FreeWheel in the UK, Germany and France between 10 June 2020 and 22 June 2020. It was completed by 68 senior respondents from the big five agencies (WPP, Havas, Dentsu, IPG and Omnicom), independent agencies or trading desks, DSPs, and direct advertisers.


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