Advertising in a time of crisis

Special Report

As the world moves to ease lockdown measures, we all begin to emerge, blinking, into a world that will have been forever altered by the events of 2020. All business sectors have been impacted by the ongoing crisis and the advertising industry is no exception.

In this special report, we investigate the key impacts of the current crisis on the advertising industry. We consider the issues across the spectrum – both the impact on brands and advertisers but also on publishers and media owners across various channels, focusing not just on the negatives and the challenges but also looking forward to the opportunities for growth both during this new way of life as the world returns closer to “normal”.

“The outbreak of coronavirus has forced brands to review ad spend and delay media pitches where these would usually be put out to tender, thereby limiting some organic growth.”

Brand Focus

How have brands been impacted by the current crisis? What strategies have they need to employ to manage through these difficult times? How can they ensure greater resilience in future?

Channel Focus

Which channels have felt the biggest impact from coronavirus? How have companies in these channels looked to adapt? Which channels have actually ended up winners?

Looking Forward

What is next for the advertising sector? How are brands looking to manage recovery? How can channels adapt to the new world? How will consumer behaviour change? How will this impact the sector?

“Despite the current crisis affecting people's ability to meet in real life, dating apps have seen a huge increase in users as people seek out social interactions and ways of meeting people while in lockdown.”

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“In the current crisis, traditional linear television advertising, as well as video-on-demand, has experienced a substantial hit as advertiser spend in the short to medium term has plummeted.”

About ADTEKR and CMS

This special report is brought to you by leading advertising resource ADTEKR, which is powered by CMS, a leading global law firm.

CMS acts for brands, agencies and media owners. Our brand clients range from leading global brands to newcomers. Our agency clients range from advertising, media buying and branding agencies, through to PR, outdoor and market research, and digital agencies. We are used to working with innovative people, with tight deadlines, and where creativity pushes the boundaries. They choose lawyers who are responsive, pragmatic and who understand what they need, and share their passion. We bring these same qualities to the work we do for brands and media owners. We provide specialist marketing and advertising advice to all sectors, built on our market-leading understanding of the media sector and of the technology which increasingly drives advertising both on and offline.

Leading Expertise

Campaigns and promotions benefit from our intellectual property, betting and gaming, food, medicines and other regulatory expertise. Our media lawyers are used to negotiating innovative sponsorship and endorsement deals. We offer expertise across jurisdictions. We clear, protect, enforce and license brands, and focus on the protection of image rights and reputation management. We are experts in regulatory affairs including the CAP and OFCOM codes, and the PAGB, ABPI and ABHI codes. We also have corporate lawyers with an extensive track record advising on acquisitions and disposals of marketing and advertising businesses. Our advice on tax, joint ventures and partnership agreements is pragmatic and perceptive.


Adtech is where advertising and digital technology converge. To understand this sector, you need lawyers who have market-leading understanding of both technology and advertising. As a firm we can uniquely offer this expertise. Our taskforce of experts are fully immersed in the adtech market and understand the key issues impacting the sector from both buy-side and sell-side, allowing us to provide targeted, commercially relevant, practical advice in context.

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