Apr 23, 2020 - Technology

Google cuts marketing in wake of coronavirus impact

Google CEO Sundar Pichai at a conference in Brussels on Jan. 20. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images

Google plans to cut its marketing budgets by as much as 50% for the second half of 2020, CNBC reports, citing internal emails from the company.

The big picture, via Axios' Ina Fried: Google is doing what most big tech companies are or will be doing soon — looking for budget cuts that can mitigate the coronavirus fallout, with marketing expenses likely to be on the chopping block.

Driving the news: The budget cuts follow a hiring slowdown that Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced to employees on Wednesday, CNET reports.

What they're saying: "As we outlined last week, we are re-evaluating the pace of our investment plans for the remainder of 2020 and will focus on a select number of important marketing efforts," a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement to CNBC on Thursday. "We continue to have a robust marketing budget, particularly in digital, in many business areas," a Google spokesperson told Axios in a statement.

  • “We'll be slowing down the pace of hiring, while maintaining momentum in a small number of strategic areas, and onboarding the many people who've been hired but haven't started yet."

Go deeper: Apple, Google limit how coronavirus contact-tracing tech can be used

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Cities were already furloughing workers and considering cutting back essential services — including public safety — because of the dramatic drops in the local tax revenue that funds them. Now they're also dealing with turmoil in their streets.

Why it matters: "Unfortunately, the increasing levels of social unrest across the country reallocated efforts and scarce resources away from the former focus of getting state, regional and local economies back to some semblance of normalcy," per Tom Kozlik, head of municipal strategy and credit at HilltopSecurities.

Updated 18 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The Department of Health and Human Services moved on Thursday to require that an individual's race, ethnicity, age and sex be submitted to the agency with novel coronavirus test results.

Why it matters: Some cities and states have reported the virus is killing black people at disproportionately high rates. There are gaps in the national picture of how many people of color are affected, since the data has not been a requirement for states to collect or disclose.

Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market

Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios

The S&P 500 jumped nearly 3% on Friday after a stronger-than-expected May jobs report showed that an economic recovery could be underway.

The state of play: Stocks have rallied since the worst of the coronavirus sell-off ended in late March and looked past a spate of ugly economic reports — not to mention civil unrest.