Ideas + Opinions

What will the UK's second lockdown mean for advertising?

06 November 2020

What will the UK's second lockdown mean for advertising?

Mobile Marketing Magazine

By Tyrone Stewart

Here we are then. Lockdown 2.0. Lockdown Part Two. Lockdown Strikes Back.

For the advertising and marketing industry, where Zoom calls and excessive drinking were an almost everyday occurrence long before COVID-19, the hope is that this new lockdown doesn’t do anywhere near as much damage as the last did – a feeling shared across the majority of industries.

Pandemic pains

The damage done to the industry has been highlighted by the last two releases of the IPA Bellwether Report, where it was seen that UK marketing budgets suffered their biggest decline in the 20-year history of the report in Q2 2020 and continued to struggle in Q3 2020, and in the latest Expenditure Report from the Advertising Association and WARC, where figures showed that the UK advertising industry recorded its worst-ever quarter in Q2 2020.

With the damage caused evident, the industry has been able to look back and see where this damage may have been done and strive to make sure it doesn’t happen this time around. Because hindsight. That old back vision.


With the lessons learned from the first lockdown, there is a general feeling around the industry that this one won’t quite have such a negative impact.

Unlike other struggling industries, such as hospitality, advertising is one where intelligent adjustments based on the experiences of the first lockdown can greatly improve the place the industry finds itself in.

“We have learned from the first lockdown, it is critical for brands to understand these new consumer behaviours and purchasing patterns,” adds Patrick Johnson, CEO at Hybrid Theory. “Also, identify who is in-market versus who is more cautious with their spending due to the circumstance changes.”

As a result of the education received from the first lockdown and anticipation of a second, many advertisers and marketers are well-prepared for what’s to come over the next four weeks – and in the future, if we have further lockdowns (please, God no!).

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