The MISSION Group is a collective of integrated and specialist creative agencies, employing 1,150 people in the UK, Europe, Asia and US.
Mission’s trading update indicated some early signs of increasing activity among clients in the technology, healthcare and property sectors. The overall trading background remains difficult, but the group has adapted its ways of working relatively smoothly, with the benefit of earlier moves to centralise IT and support functions. Group agencies have also been doing some COVID-19-specific work and community support, including a promising wearable proximity monitor from Pathfindr, developed within Mission’s business incubator, fuse. Cost savings, including reduced salaries and non-payment of the FY19 final dividend, are helping preserve cash. Guidance and our forecasts remain withdrawn.
Marketing spend has been heavily affected by COVID-19 as clients have paused and reappraised their marketing strategies. The Advertising Association has published projections that show UK advertising spend for FY20 down 16.7%, from a previous estimate of 5.2% growth. For FY21, it anticipates a 13.6% bounce back. Q220 is anticipated to be down 39.1%, with Q320 down 24.3%. However, the impact varies widely by advertising medium, sector and client. For some agencies and clients, the spur to creativity has boosted the impact of campaigns in a less crowded market.