82% of Ad Pros Surveyed Said Clients Are Pausing or Canceling Projects

By Erik Oster 

In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, it’s not surprising that some clients are canceling or putting projects on hold.

This would clearly be a natural step for clients in categories hit particularly hard by the pandemic, but just how many clients have taken such steps?

Industry conversation platform Fishbowl ran a survey of 5,400 anonymous advertising professionals asking if the coronavirus pandemic had caused clients to pause or cancel projects and 82% of respondents replied “Yes.” Fishbowl also ran a conversation around the topic and a few ad professionals weighed in with their experiences.


An apparent employee of Publicis Groupe’s Zenith claimed clients had halted a significant amount of media spending this week.

In one case, a social media analyst found that clients are moving budget from canceled events into social initiatives. They also found it disturbing that one client asked what the agency’s contingency plan was in case someone becomes sick. 

A self-identified copywriter cited productions grinding to a halt, campaign launches delayed. They added that clients seem to have reluctance around spending on advertising in general during the crisis.

We’re interested in hearing from our readers about their own experiences with clients halting or canceling projects as we attempt to gain an understanding of how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting the ad industry.

Contact our tipbox or send us an email at agencyspymail@protonmail.com to share your experiences anonymously.