Since the beginning of the year, the coronavirus, and at the end of the year, the Artsakh war, have seriously reduced the volume of advertising. Yana Yanikyan, media director of Media Systems advertising company, says that the volume of advertising has been reduced by 70-80% in the last month alone.
Businesses have reacted very sharply to the war, not finding it appropriate to advertise in such a situation, to postpone any campaigns until the end of hostilities.
This situation has paralyzed not only the advertising field in general, but also seriously endangered the future work of some media outlets.
We had the impression that the economy did not suffer much in the days of the war, but the advertising market became very sensitive. Why?
On the very first day of the war, the companies contacted us to turn off their ads, especially the so-called aggressive ads. Even though we started to do that ourselves on September 27, the first day.
Compared to the coronavirus period, the decline during the war was greater and more painful. In the early months of Covid19, companies did not give up advertising altogether but tried to redistribute funds, advertise goods and services more efficiently at a lower cost.
In this case, the advertising field was simply paralyzed. The reason was not financial, having an advertisement became an ethical issue in a state of war. The reason is that people go to different news sites, read social networks and have contradictory reactions to advertisements.
Do you have any monitoring to see if the lack of advertising in this area has affected the business?
The turnover of companies has decreased because advertisements have a strategy and result, and the result is expressed in terms of increased turnover.
Businesses decided to wait, and in times of uncertainty their sense of caution is understandable to some extent, but during the war, the situation is a little different, non-standard. Almost all companies are making transfers to the All-Armenian Fund, the Soldiers’ Insurance Fund, and in order for those transfers to be regular, their business must work. Now expenses are increasing, but income is decreasing.
Let’s go back to the field of advertising and business, we are all profit-making organizations, we have a problem with paying our employees, taxes to the state, a desire to transfer funds.
Were business solutions offered to businesses?
The solution is that every business sector and organization needs an individual approach, to which we are ready. We have to adapt to the situation, overcome the stereotype that it is shameful to have advertising at the moment.
And perhaps now the most necessary thing is to place advertisements to help the economy, the media, which work around the clock, should ensure an uninterrupted flow of information.
There may be a psychological factor here, people have changed, their priorities likewise, advertising should be acceptable to them from this point of view.
I mean, it’s not shameful to advertise anything now. We must slowly return to normal life.
We hope to start discussions with all the companies in the field. We have a leading position in the field, we have taken on the responsibility to raise the issue, to find solutions.
Is it possible to review advertising prices and introduce new tariffs?
Our partners have not presented us with such a problem, now is the time for a new strategy and technological solutions.
It is necessary to overcome the shame, to understand how to build further cooperation. Flexibility is possible. We are ready to give advice to companies, to accept their offers.
This is a multi-layered problem, on the one hand, it damages the economy, on the other hand, it creates a serious problem for the existence of the media. We already know cases when the media cannot pay their employees.
There are fields that are directly affected by advertising, that is, if they do not have advertising for a few days, they have a problem and vice versa, fields where placing an advertisement ensures a presence and authority in the media.
The phrase “it feels wrong” is no longer appropriate, we must continue to shop, to help the economy. The taxes paid at this stage can be used to arm the state army, financially assist wounded servicemen, support the families of fallen servicemen, and implement other social programs.
Interview by Gayane Asryan