The chronicle of the disease in GR:

  • Wed 26 Feb 2020, the first case in Thessaloniki
  • Thu 12 Mar 2020, the first loss of life
  • Fri 13 Mar 2020, Restaurants, coffee shops etc, ordered to close down.
  • Mon 16 Mar 2020, Regulations on shoppers in s/ms and start of tele-working.

The current TV airtime demand:

Demand starts usually strong or weak in 1st half of the month, depending on the demand at the end of the previous. So to analyze March 2020, we need to see February.

But February 2020 had the reverse comportment of Feb 2019. Started very strong. Then viewership, due to the very nice weather, went around 12% lower vs. Feb 2019 and the high initial demand, combined with the low viewership, started driving CPR 15% to 20% up. So little by little, advertisers pulled back. The month ended negatively and negatively entered March. In principle, the services were the visibly absent players, as the bad news started piling up.

But TV advertising did not collapse. Traditional FMCGs, S/Markets and Pharmaceuticals kept leading the demand and led in building-up a solid volume.

Rumors have it that in digital advertising, especially ticketing, travel, events and services addressing the most mobile interests of the population, the drop was dramatic.

Then another positive side is that as population is staying home more and more, TV viewership grows significantly, leading cost (CPR) down.

On Sunday the 15th of March, first Sunday after the announcement of the regulations imposed, viewership went 21.5% up vs. Sunday the 8th.

Advertisers chasing young audiences, … all of a sudden discovered that this wasn’t so difficult after all!

The feeling is that the new realities, the new services that will arise to cover the needs of the day under the movement restrictions, will need to go to TV to gather momentum.

The irony is that March is the season that international auditors – and us the locals – are compiling estimates on expected media inflation & deflation for the total year! So we will have to be very creative this time to project what the final effect will be in the months to come, for how long and of course, what will be the demand after we return to normality …

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