Advertisers cut £ 725 million from festive marketing budgets in a pandemic as Marks & Spencer cancels ads for Christmas attire and instead reaches out to online influencers to promote their offerings
- The annual flash of promotions is reduced as retailers tighten their belts
- Spending in the Golden Quarter is projected to drop 10.5 percent to £ 6.2 billion
- M&S has already scrapped its Christmas clothing advertisement and will focus on groceries
- Impending lockdowns to combat a resurgent virus have been attributed to the cut
Christmas advertising will be scaled back this year as companies exposed to the strain of the pandemic are expected to cut marketing budgets by £ 725 million.
The annual flash of festive promotions is expected to be subdued as hard-hit retailers cut costs and prepare for a decline in sales.
Marks and Spencer has already scrapped their Christmas clothing ads and instead turned to online influencers to showcase their products.
According to the Advertising Association and Warc, advertising spending in the fourth so-called Golden Quarter is expected to decrease by 10.5 percent to 6.2 billion pounds.
The threat of bans to fight a resurgent virus has been attributed to the decline in ad spend as retailers face lower demand due to restrictions.
According to the Advertising Association and Warc, advertising spending in the fourth so-called Golden Quarter is expected to decrease by 10.5 percent to 6.2 billion pounds
Marks & Spencer has canceled its advertising for Christmas clothes (2019 ad) and instead reached out to social media influencers to promote its range
Traditional TV advertising will instead focus solely on food this year. The first will appear in the coming weeks (Image: two people wearing sweaters in the company's 2019 clothing advertisement).
Cinema advertising is expected to see the biggest slump of 66 percent as the film industry remains particularly hard hit, with cinemas closed and filming suspended.
The AA predicts that spending on radio advertising will fall by 13 percent, direct mail by 12 percent and TV by 2 percent.
The analysis found that total UK advertising spending will fall 14.5 percent this year to £ 21.5 billion.
Stephen Woodford, chief executive officer of the AA, said: “These strong numbers show the strain that all parts of the advertising ecosystem were under in the second quarter.
"Large parts of our industry and the entire economy have been effectively closed."
M & S's traditional Christmas TV commercials will focus entirely on groceries this year. The first will be out in the coming weeks.
The retailer continues to plan to use social media influencers to market clothing and housewares in the hopes that in the event of a lockdown, customers will shop online over Christmas, according to Campaign.
Last year, the company's Christmas clothing advertisement was "Go Jumpers for Christmas!" Hip-hop dancers in the store's sweaters and pajamas (picture), which initially boosted sales
Last year, the company's Christmas clothing advertisement featured hip-hop dancers in the store's sweaters and pajamas.
Sweaters and pajamas sales rose as a result, but numbers later showed that clothing and housewares sales fell 1.7 percent overall in the last three months of 2019.
It follows the outbreak of the Covid crisis, with more customers working from home, meaning the demand for work-related clothing has since declined.
M&S announced in August that it will cut 7,000 jobs, with the bulk of the cuts being made in the stores and around 12 percent of the 60,000 employees in the stores.
Turning to the latest financials, NBK Retail retail analyst Natalie Berg said of M&S clothing, "In trying to be everything to everyone, they were not to anyone."
Christmas was thrown into chaos by Covid-19 measures that limit gatherings to six people and at levels 2 and 3 prevent two households from meeting indoors.
Retailers fear gift purchases could suffer a massive slump as fewer trips to loved ones' homes occur during the holiday season.
Richard Lim, Managing Director of Retail Economics, however, discussed a possible buying frenzy and told MailOnline that wealthy families who have forego vacation could be prepared to threaten themselves this Christmas.
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