Signs of recovery in the advertising market after the coronavirus shock

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Highlights in June

The gross advertising expenditure in the Swiss advertising market reached 403.1 million Swiss francs in June 2020. As a result, the curve is pointing slightly upwards after three weak months in terms of advertising, with an increase of around 17 percent in comparison to the previous month. However, compared to the previous year, the result is still a decrease in gross advertising expenditure (-11.5%). In cumulative terms, this means a reduction in advertising expenditure of 22 percent for the first half of 2020, in comparison to last year.

Advertising Pressure in the market as a whole

Development of Advertising Pressure as per June 2020 in million francs (gross)

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Out-of-home advertising back on track

After a three-month shutdown with no advertising expenditure at all, the Swiss cinemas have been open again since 6 June. However, they were only allowed to open with safety measures and reduced capacity. Accordingly, the advertising expenditure generated by cinema advertising in June was still 86 percent below that of the previous year. Outdoor advertising has recovered considerably thanks to the additional relaxations of the coronavirus measures at the start of June. With gross advertising expenditure of 62.5 million francs, this media group is just six percent below the previous year’s value. The revival of out-of-home advertising expenditure is also reflected in the media mix. After the last three single-digit percentage figures, outdoor advertising accounted for 15 percent of all advertising expenditure. Internet media has also grown strongly. At just under 116 million francs, the gross advertising expenditure for online advertising is just below 10 percent of the previous year’s value. As for print and TV media, the gross advertising expenditure in June reduced by 12 and 13 percent respectively in comparison to the same time last year.

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Besides the cleaning industry, initiatives & campaigns up again YTD

After April and May saw just one industry increase its gross advertising expenditure in comparison to last year, in June it was four. As already noted in May, the cleaning industry increased its advertising expenditure the most percentage-wise, by 71.7 percent. However, initiatives & campaigns (+29.6%), construction, industry and facilities (+8.9%), and the retail trade (+7.4%) also showed growth in comparison to the same month last year. In addition to the cleaning industry (+12.3%), initiatives & campaigns (+0.2%) have also experienced slight YTD growth again in comparison to the first half of 2019.

Events and tobacco industry with the most severe percentage declines once again

The fact that events with up to 300 people have been permitted again since 6 June provides some consolation to the coronavirus-stricken events industry. In June, events advertising accounted for 73.3 percent less advertising expenditure than the same month last year. Only the tobacco industry has had to bear an even greater reduction in gross advertising expenditure in comparison to the previous year, with a minus of 89.2 percent. The third-largest decrease in gross advertising expenditure can be seen in transportation services, which have experienced a reduction of around 60 percent in comparison to June 2019.


After the coronavirus low, the Swiss advertising market seems to be slowly recovering. As the gross advertising expenditure in March and April was still more than one third below the level of the previous year, there was still a minus of 11.5 percent in June, in comparison to the same period last year. The increase in out-of-home advertising had the most impact in June, but internet and print advertising also achieved their highest values since January of this year. It remains to be seen whether the positive development of advertising expenditure in July will continue in this extraordinary advertising year. The seventh month of the year is usually the worst month for advertising.

Advertising pressure in the sectors

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Top of the month

The top advertisers and most widely advertised products and services (excluding range and image advertising) in June:

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Media Mix

Media Mix for the month of June

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