SWA: Growth despite crisis in anniversary year

In spring 2020, the Swiss Association of Advertisers (SWA) reacted quickly to the Corona-related changes and converted all its services to digital. In the just published annual report, the association looks back on the extraordinary year and lets selected guest authors from business and science take a look at the "New Normal".

The Swiss advertising market recorded a 14 percent decline in gross figures last year, and the first months of the new year were also down. The SWA stood by its members during these times and quickly converted its services from analogue to digital. In the process, it became possible to reach a much larger audience more often with new webinar offerings than was previously possible with workshops, the association said in a statement. The practice-oriented webinars were in great demand among members and sometimes attracted well over 100 participants.

Association anniversary to be made up for in 2021

The digital meetings of the six SWA specialist groups on marketing, media, digital, sponsoring, regulation and the Groupe Romand were also well attended. Only the traditional SWA annual meeting and other physical events were not held last year. Now the association hopes to be able to make up for the meeting on the topic of "Man or machine: artificial intelligence in marketing and communication" - which also marks the 70th anniversary of the association - on 9 September 2021.

Several new members

Last year, eight advertising companies again joined the SWA: BLS, DeinDeal, Haar-Shop.ch, Hager Elektronik, Melitta, Publicare, Scout 24 and WIR Bank. This growth in members is continuing in the new year. With Switzerland Tourism, Schulthess Maschinen, Samsung Electronics Switzerland and Digitec Galaxus, four more members have already joined the SWA. This means that more than 200 advertising companies are now organised in the SWA, according to the press release. These companies and brands account for around 75 percent of all Swiss advertising expenditure. The voice of advertising clients has thus gained even more weight in the advertising market, and the SWA is well equipped to meet the challenges of the future.

More transparency and advertising freedom, less regulation

In addition to representing the interests and services of its members, the association is pursuing two priorities in the current year 2021: More transparency along the digital value chain and more advertising freedom and less state regulation. In the case of the digital value chain, the main aim is to continue the transparency initiative that has been launched. To this end, the new association "Digital Ad Trust Switzerland" was founded in February with the two partner associations IAB Switzerland and Leading Swiss Agencies LSA. (Werbewoche.ch reported). The SWA expects to make a lot of progress here this year and is planning further initiatives.

With a view to the regulations in the advertising market, the SWA noted that many laws and regulations continue to affect commercial communication. Here, it is important to increase pressure and lobbying with a strong voice. Advertising bans, as in the tobacco industry, must be fought - there is a danger that these will be extended to products containing sugar, fat and salt. In these times in particular, politicians should be more accommodating to the economy and make the numerous rules and regulations for advertisers a little more "business-friendly", concludes the SWA in its communication.

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