Industry insiders say the ad business has declined by 20-25 percent since the virus outbreak began
The advertisement market has witnessed a decline amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has also led to a change in the trend of ads.
Industry insiders have said the ad business has declined by 20-25 percent since the virus outbreak began. They also claimed that if the current circumstances persist after March, the ad market will drastically fall further.
As shooting for television content is suspended due to the shutdown, industry insiders are worried that they will soon face a shortage of fresh content.
If new content for the television runs out, advertisers will not be interested in giving ads to old content, they added.
Speaking to The Business Standard, Deepto TV's Head of Marketing Mojammel Hassan said, "The ad business has been suffering losses due to both local and global effects of the pandemic.
"Ahead of the summer, we mostly get ads from many beverage companies such as Seven Up, Pepsi and Coca Cola. But now, as most of these companies have likely suspended their manufacturing process, they are not going to invest in promoting their products."
As he explained, "This is how the whole ad market is actually suffering. Our stakeholders are businessmen, and when every type of business is facing losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, obviously these stakeholders are going to reduce the budget on promotions.
"This is negatively impacting the ad business."
He pointed out, though, that if Bangladesh overcomes the situation by the end of March, the ad market is going to flourish again.
Mifta Arif, head of marketing communication at Watermark MCL, said, "We provide many services such as event management, outdoor campaigning and media buying. As most of our recent events and campaigns have been postponed due to the effects of the virus, our business has dropped by 40 percent, while media buying business has declined by 25 percent.
"As most of our clients are businessmen, and all businesses are in a slump right now due to the coronavirus pandemic, nobody is launching massive promotions."
Watermark MCL is a marketing and communication agency in Dhaka.
Adding that the coronavirus pandemic has changed trends in ad media, Mifta Arif said, "Now we are seeing that both in online media and in newspapers, ads are mostly focused on creating awareness about coronavirus.
"The common trend of ad concept has changed into promoting goods for consumers who are concerned about the coronavirus. Right now, ads about cleaning products such as hand sanitisers, hand wash and soaps have increased."
Responding to a query, an assistant manager of a national English daily on condition of anonymity said, "We had a target of getting ads centering on the Independence Day celebrations. But the government scrapped those ceremonies.
"We are not getting the ads for programmes we usually get under normal circumstances. It has impacted us severely."
In the digital advertising market, the situation is even worse.
Al Mamun, manager of Digital Marketing at Somoy TV, said, "In the past 8-9 days, ads from Facebook have been off for Bangladesh. The Facebook bureau which operates the advertisements of Bangladesh is situated in Singapore.
"Due to the virus outbreak, Facebook adopted the 'work from home' policy. So, Facebook announced that our country will not get any ads for now. Facebook ad revenue contributes significantly to the digital ad market, but as this revenue has stopped, we are facing losses."
There is no data about the total market size of Bangladesh's ad market. But industry insiders assume that the size of this market is around TK2,000-2,500 crore.