The UK’s popular commercialised Christmas season has already begun with a forecasted £6.2bn advertising extravaganza expected during this quarter. However, this represents a 10.5% fall in expenditure compared to last year and depicts dramatic changes in the way businesses have been looking to spend. Unsurprisingly, the cinema advertising market is expected to see a substantial 66.1% decline in advertising spending in Q4 and Out Of Home (OOH) marketing (such as billboards) will experience an almost 20% decline, too. The areas least affected are online (-6.1%) and TV (-2.7%). The fall in spending by some of the major brands, such as McDonalds and Sky, was expected but the cheaper advertising rates did see a large rise in small brands who have taken the opportunity to expand their reach.
Analysts expect the UK advertising market to grow by 14.4% in 2021 but not fully recover until 2022. The Chief Executive of the Advertising Association has stated that the “we must boost growth and support jobs through an advertising tax credit and skills programme to aid colleagues facing unemployment”.
UK COVID Updates
The UK has now reached 1.4 million cases (map) and deaths now exceed 52,000 but appear to be levelling off now after this second wave has fortunately proven to be less damaging than the first.
Recent news coverage has focused upon the hopes of a vaccine releasing us all from the tight grip of COVID. So far, the UK has already secured early access to 355 million vaccines from 7 different organisations after having opted out of the EU’s vaccine purchase plan. The largest investment for the UK has been with the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (for 100m doses) and Sweden has also acquired 6m following it’s allocation from the EU. The UK Government has also ordered 5m doses of the Moderna vaccine- however, some critics have said this was too little, too late.
Pubs are synonymous with British culture and the nation boasts around 47,000 from cities to isolated rural settings. These buildings, alone, generate over £22bn in revenue annually and have just been forced to close until the beginning of December, at the earliest, following the latest lockdown. This has resulted in a 75% decline in customers booking for traditional Christmas meals (often with lucrative corporate opportunities too) and could be the last straw for many pubs.
Analysis of the public mind-set can also be interpreted through alcohol sales from shops: sparkling wine and liqueurs saw a 9% and 14% decline in sales during the first lockdown and indicates the country waslacking a celebratory mood- whereas, lager sales soared 71%. Low and no-alcohol sales have surged by 30% in lockdown as drinking trends continue to shift amongst the youth in particular. This sector is still comparatively small and is worth £188m in the UK- which is completely dwarfed by the £62bn generated by alcohol sales each year.