An unclear outlook
Like other airport advertising and out of home players, Clear Channel’s business has been hit by stay-at-home protocols, meaning any post-coronavirus recovery is hard to forecast. Liam Coleman reports.
Clear Channel is seeing requests to defer or cancel advertising contracts on an “unprecedented” scale, says Worldwide Chief Executive Officer William Eccleshare.
The advertising concessionaire at some of the busiest airports in the Americas and Europe saw consolidated revenue across all channels of US$550.8 million for the first three months of 2020, a -6.2% year-on-year decline.
While revenue in the Americas, where airport advertising is just under 20% of the company’s business, defied the drop in other regions to increase +8.5% to US$295.8 million in the quarter, restrictions since then have affected traveller movement and the behaviour of target audiences, says the company.
“Due to the continued global spread of the virus, including throughout the US, we anticipate a significant impact on our results throughout our business during the second quarter and for the rest of the year as more customers defer buying decisions,” Eccleshare adds.
The shape of any recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is hard to predict, but Clear Channel says that its airport advertising business will be “probably the last part of our business that snaps back aggressively”.
Offering an optimistic angle, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas CEO Scott Wells says, “That is very premium inventory with a premium audience that is still moving through the airports, albeit with smaller levels than historically. It has held up reasonably well.”
Clear Channel has used reduced demand from clients to repurpose its portfolio in the fight against the virus. Sites in the Clear Channel inventory across the world have been used to share both encouraging messages for key workers and health advice.
“We are proud that our inventory has been able to facilitate messages of support to front line medical teams, to first responders, to delivery professionals and foodservice workers, as well as being used by government to remind citizens to stay at home and how to stay safe.”
The Moodie Davitt eZine
Issue 280 | 3 June 2020
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