The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic’s estimated financial impact on the 2020 advertising market stands at about $20.3 billion, according to an updated full-year ad spending forecast by digital market research company eMarketer.

eMarketer’s revised ad spending outlook now anticipates that total media ad spending worldwide will hit $691.7 billion this year, an increase of about seven percent from 2019.


eMarketer had previously expected that worldwide ad spending would rise by 7.4 percent in 2020, or $712.02 billion.

eMarketer stated that its downgraded forecast for the worldwide ad market was due primarily to activity in China—where the virus originated and, thus far, has caused the most havoc—where total media ad spending will come up about $7.4 billion short from previous estimates, or $113.7 billion compared to earlier predictions of $121.13 billion.

eMarketer also revised China’s 2020 ad spending growth rate to 8.4 percent from previous estimates of 10.5 percent.

A March report from Bloomberg Economics estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic could cost the global economy approx. $2.7 trillion, roughly equivalent to the U.K.’s GDP.

eMarketer separately predicted that COVID-19 could boost ecommerce activity—particularly as it relates to health and grocery retailers/providers—as consumers continue to avoid public spaces and brick-and-mortar retailers and instead purchase more goods online.