All in all, the unpegging of the Swiss franc will have a negative impact on our industry - but this effect will be much smaller than one would expect based on the excited reporting of the past weeks.
If the Swiss franc stays at its current rate, we expect a reduction in Swiss advertising spending of no more than five percent. Of course, this will vary from sector to sector. The Swiss tourism industry or car importers, for example, will be much harder hit than the retail trade. The latter is suffering badly from shopping tourism, but it has already been doing so for several years - and has already adjusted its advertising behavior accordingly. We do not expect to see significantly more shopping abroad now. Swiss advertisers are also less affected than international companies whose budgets are planned in euros.
Overall, however, the effects on our industry are in no way comparable to the economic situation in 2008/2009. Mind you, this only applies to our industry. The export-oriented industry is affected in a completely different way, but this industry is of hardly any significance for media agencies.
But like all crises, this one will pick up on, reinforce and accelerate existing trends. As existing advertising budgets may come under pressure, advertisers will (have to) focus even more than they already do on the ROI of their investments.
The winning media of recent years, TV and digital, will continue to grow at an accelerated rate, at the expense of the other media (even if print is currently experiencing a small interim high due to supply-side advertising).
Even more than in the past, each individual medium has to prove its impact on consumers - this is where media agencies can help their clients significantly with advertising impact research.