The coronavirus sends jitters through the advertising industry


Live sports has been carrying the TV industry, and the coronavirus fallout could serve as a reminder of just how vulnerable the some-$70-billion industry really is. 

The spectre of the summer Olympics being canceled or postponed has already put a damper on ad spending, as companies from The New York Times to ad giant Publicis warn that advertisers will tap the breaks this year.

There’s even been speculation by analysts that virus fears sped up Bob Iger’s recent passing of the torch at Disney. The day-to-day pressures of the Disney CEO may mount if the coronavirus continues to spread outside of China, and it has already caused Disney to close its Shanghai and Hong Kong parks and resorts.

And live sports events like the Olympics are one of the brightest spots for TV networks because it’s one of the few things that still drive appointment viewing.

“Live sports is what drives live TV today — [the Olympics] is still the most extraordinary live sports event,” said Barry Lowenthal, CEO of The Media Kitchen. “For that to go away will have a ripple effect across the industry.”

bob chapek

Read more on the Disney situation by Ashley Rodriguez and Travis Clark:

Disney’s surprise CEO change makes sense because of the coronavirus’ growing impact on its business, according to a Wall Street analyst

Ad tech shopping spree

adtech acquisition targets 4x3

Speaking of TV, the shift to online viewing is driving interest in some digital companies that are specializing in trying to facilitate the shift of ad dollars to digital platforms. Lauren Johnson asked experts which are the top companies most likely to get snapped up this year, driven by online viewing and other big shifts in digital advertising. Here’s the full story:

Here are 7 digital advertising companies that experts say could be snapped up in 2020

Here are other highlights from advertising:

Meet the 25 power players who are trying to turn around WPP, the world’s biggest ad holding company

New US president of the company that built Unilever’s ad agency explains why in-housing is a greater threat to ad agencies than consultancies

Leaked memo: Snapchat is wooing advertisers to use its Audience Network to extend the reach of their ads beyond its platform

Amazon is breeding a new crop of marketing startups, and investors are buying in

And some great media stories you shouldn’t miss:

The 9 media companies industry insiders say are the hottest acquisition targets in streaming TV this year

The top 14 PR pros and publicists for YouTube creators, Instagram influencers, and other digital stars

Disney has a new CEO: Bob Chapek. Wall Street breaks down the former parks boss’ strengths and weaknesses.

How movie theaters are approaching subscription plans after the death of MoviePass, and 7 services battling for US market share

How Instagram ‘nano influencers’ with only 2,000 followers can make money from sponsored posts

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