TV Ad Spending on Pharma Rose in March: TVSquared

As the Coronavirus impacted people and businesses in March, a variety of industries altered their television advertising spending.

According to TVSquared, while some, like the travel industry, pulled back, others, notably the pharmaceutical business, increased spending.

And in some cases, consumers responded to the messages.

TVSquared found that the pharmaceutical increases TV spending by 44%, consumer packaged goods spending rose 12%, personal care/beauty and financial were up 11%.

On the downside, travel businesses cut spending by 80%, brick and mortar retail plunged 30%, food and beverage cut back 18% and insurance was down 14%.

The data also shows that spending by different industry fluctuated according to their own unique patterns. For example, auto spending dove the second week in March, rose slightly in the third set and returned to week one levels in week four. Spending on online retail dropped slightly the second week of March, then inched up the two following weeks.

“Fluctuations in spend and strategy will likely continue as advertisers adjust creatives to directly reflect the pandemic and evaluate performance to ensure TV investments are working,” TVSquared said.

TVSquared also measures the performance of ads and found that web-based direct-to-consumer brands fared well, with DTC education brands’ performance up 250%. Another category that showed a strong response to its ads was home improvement, up 43%.

Categories showing decreased ad performance including the sports and ticket industry, down 94%; travel, down 74% and brick and mortar retail, down 58%. 

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.