Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell, left, shoots as Denver Nuggets forward Torrey Craig, center, and forward Jerami Grant defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell, left, shoots as Denver Nuggets forward Torrey Craig, center, and forward Jerami Grant defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Associated Press

  • The coronavirus pandemic is upending the advertising business, along with other swaths of the economy.

  • Here is a breakdown of its impact on advertising, from layoffs and furloughs to events cancellations to sales slowdowns.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The advertising business has been upended by the coronavirus, along with other sectors of the global economy. Advertisers have hit the breaks in spending as sales plummet, audiences for live sports have fallen, and layoffs rip through media companies and advertising and PR agencies.

JPMorgan Chase analysts have said the largest and most heavily leveraged companies, like WPP and Publicis, and those most exposed in Asia, like Dentsu, are most at risk from advertisers cutting spending, while IPG could fare better because of its data and healthcare business.

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The cancellation of live sports and events has been a headache for TV networks and media companies like The Atlantic and The Athletic, leading some to lay off staff while others have shifted to virtual events.

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Marketers have been scrambling to make sure all their messaging is right for the moment, even pulling entire campaigns in some cases, while some are taking advantage of low ad rates.

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The pandemic has stirred up debate about advertisers’ practice of avoiding hard news, which has made it hard for news publishers from BuzzFeed to TheSkimm to monetize big readership gains.

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Looking ahead, the coronavirus is expected to have a lasting impact on the advertising industry.

Read about the virus’ long-term impact here:

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