The Swiss advertising market is approaching the 500 million mark

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Highlights in September

Despite the coronavirus crisis, September has been the strongest month of the year’s first three quarters for advertising, as usual. At CHF 494.3 million gross, advertising pressure was just a fraction under the 500 million mark in September. After the summer slump, trends took a steep upturn, with an increase of 135.6 million, or 37.8 percent, compared with August, the previous month. However, compared with last year, the situation remains rather sobering, on balance. Every media group, with the exception of out-of-home, is still far behind the previous year’s values. Given the rising infection rates and the increase in uncertainty, it remains to be seen how the market will develop. Overall, gross advertising pressure for 2020 (YTD) amounts to CHF 3.5 billion: a decline of 16.1 percent, compared with the previous year.

Advertising Pressure in the market as a whole

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

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Out-of-home advertising continues to surge ahead

While every media group continued to experience a decline (and some seeing substantial losses) in September compared with the previous year, out-of-home raised the bar further with another increase of 8.9% on the previous year’s value. Digital out-of-home, in particular, saw the same continuously high growth rates as it had before the slump caused by the coronavirus in April and May. This segment stands at 42.5% compared with September 2019. Advertising pressure even nearly doubled in August and July. However, analogue out-of-home advertising is also continuing to increase, albeit at a lower level, (September: +2.7%; August, +14.9%). Nevertheless, when the entire year is taken into consideration, out-of-home did not reach the advertising pressure of the previous year, dropping by 8.8%.

TV and print advertising once again saw advertising pressure slump by a moderate percentage. TV lost 4 percent compared with 2019, print 8%. The general, financial and business press even saw a slight uptick (+1.2%). However, this was driven by newspaper supplements, not advertisements in newspapers. Radio dropped by slightly more in September than in August (-16% versus -6%). Cinema continues to be the medium that has been hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis. However, September saw a positive development: advertising pressure almost doubled compared with the previous month, and the year-on-year reduction was somewhat less (-52% compared with -67%). Without a September push, online advertising only experienced a slight uptick compared with the previous month (+2.8%).

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A third of sectors experienced year-on-year growth

In September, advertising pressure grew in 7 out of 21 sectors, compared with the previous year. The retail sector is not only home to 3 of the top 10 advertising drivers this month: it also plays host to the top product. This sector saw the highest percentage growth of around 30%, remaining the industry with the highest advertising pressure of the year to date. Month on month, however, it is the food sector that takes pole position, despite suffering a decline compared with 2019 (-7.2%). Digital and household experienced the third-highest growth, measured on a percentage basis (25.1%). Tobacco products (+15.1%), pharmaceuticals & health (+14.8%) and initiatives & campaigns (+13.4%), along with cosmetics & toiletries (+12.9%), saw two-digit growth.

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Top of the month

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

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Media Mix

Media Mix for the month of September

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