American Marketer

Apparel and accessories

Fashion ad spend down, with some bright spots: report

July 31, 2020

Eyewear is one category that saw an increase in ad spend. Image credit: Burberry


Fashion ad spend fell 45 percent year-over-year during the second quarter of 2020, although there has been fluctuations across fashion sectors.

Designer fashion ad spend is down by a third, according to an analysis from MediaRadar. For the first time since coronavirus lockdowns began in March, however, fashion ad spend four-week moving average is moving in a positive direction y-o-y — indicating that ad spending is beginning to rebound.

Eyewear, subscription boxes up
Year-over-year, designer ad spend fell by one-third from March through June 2020. Footwear brands reduced ad spending by even more, 55 percent, as more consumers than ever spent the majority of their business and leisure time at home.

While consumers have increasingly opted for comfort while staying hoe, athletic wear spend remains flat year-over-year.

One notable exception is eyewear ad spend. Propelled by an increase in ads for blue-light cancelling glasses, ad spend in this category jumped 155 percent y-o-y.

Beginning in June, direct-to-consumer subscription boxes have more than tripled their ad spending compared to the same period in 2019.

MediaRadar cautioned that print ads in monthly publications may be having an outsize impact during Q2 2020 since those commitments are made months in advance.

In a study from this spring, the Interactive Advertising Bureau said those channels with greater flexibility and agility in creating, editing and optimizing creative will experience less of an impact from shifting ad spend (see story).

When excluding monthly print publications from its analysis, MediaRadar found fashion ad spend has begun to rebound in the last month. The four-week moving average is now showing growth in ad spend year-over-year.