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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Many of the biggest advertising holding groups are forecasting that their clients will severely pull back on ad spend due to the coronavirus.

The big picture: In a note to clients Tuesday morning, MoffettNathanson senior analyst Michael Nathanson predicted the drop in organic growth during the coronavirus crisis will be steeper than the financial crisis for major ad agencies holding groups like WPP, Omnicom and Interpublic (IPG).

  • Yes, but: Nathanson says he also predicts "a more rapid, although still gradual, recovery with a return to prior levels of organic growth in 2021."
  • This is in part due to the fact that agencies are labor intensive and are able to adjust headcount as necessary to stabilize margins.

The state of play: Publicis Groupe chief executive officer Arthur Sadoun told investors last Monday that he expects a far worse ad decline than the 10% plunge during the financial crisis, after the company bumped up its earnings report.

  • Omnicom's CEO wrote in a letter to staff obtained by CNBC that it anticipates cuts and furloughs.
  • Dentsu has implemented 10% pay cuts, furloughs, and layoffs across the U.S. amid the pandemic, as clients are expected to further pull back spend.
  • WPP withdrew guidance for 2020 in late March, after experiencing an uptick in client ad cancellations. The company's CEO Mark Reed says the company has freezon hiring, and couldn't commit to avoiding layoffs, although he said it would be a last-resort measure.
  • IPG (Interpublic Group) withdrew its financial performance targets for full-year 2020.

Go deeper: Ad market expected to take a big hit in 2020

Go deeper

Arizona and Texas are getting better; California and Florida aren't

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Danielle Alberti, Sara Wise/Axios

Coronavirus infections in the U.S. are beginning to decline, after a summer of sharp increases, and some of the hardest-hit states are improving significantly.

Yes, but: We're at the stage of this most recent outbreak in which deaths begin to spike. They're closing in on 150,000 and still rising.

Jul 30, 2020 - Health

The deep decline in vaccine sales

GSK's Twinrix vaccine. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

Global stay-at-home orders stemming from the coronavirus pandemic — especially those in the U.S. — have led to steep sales declines in routine vaccinations.

The big picture: Although more people are getting their vaccines now, "there remains some way to go to get back to pre-COVID levels for adult vaccinations," GlaxoSmithKline CEO Emma Walmsley said on an investor call Wednesday.

Gohmert suggests without evidence that wearing mask contributed to contracting coronavirus

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) on Wednesday released a video statement about his coronavirus diagnosis, suggesting without evidence that wearing a mask may have contributed to testing positive.

The big picture: The congressman, who has largely been resistant to wearing a mask around Capitol Hill, said that he "can't help but wonder" if adjusting his mask "put some germs in" it. While the CDC has said it is possible that coronavirus can be transmitted after touching an infected surface, it "is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads."