With lockdown measures still in place and economic activity changing on the daily basis, we’re here to bring you another roundup of the latest information on the Coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the wider digital marketing industry.

Here’s what’s been hitting the headlines this week:

ASA revamps priorities in response to fake COVID-19 ads

A rise in misleading ads promoting coronavirus cures and treatments online has led the UK’s advertising watchdog to change its priorities in response. Talking to The Drum, the ASA said that they’re working with speed to adapt operations and procedures in order to target bad actors during this global pandemic.

Late payment terms rise for publishers

With commission rates and payment terms shifting for affiliates at the moment, it was reported this week on Digiday that through the first three weeks of April 2020, payment delays on invoices to publishers and media agencies have increased 20%, according to data collected by FastPay.

Additional research conducted by Oarex, an invoice factoring firm that serves media companies, found that the number of firms that paid their invoices late rose 14.6%, to 55%, in the first quarter of 2020. Findings involved invoices sourced largely from publishers and media agencies.

Spending shifts to feeling great

As the global pandemic continues and we begin to adjust to the new norm under lockdown, new data from e-commerce platform RedBrain has found the UK consumers’ focus online has shifted away from the early weeks of panic buying foods, exercise equipment and dealing with entertaining the kids to wanting to look and feel fantastic. For instance, demand for hair scissors was up over 3,000% whilst fishing nets were up over 1,000% resulting in high conversion rates.

UK Ad budgets see biggest drop since recession

In case you missed it, The IPA Bellwether report was released this week and recorded a net balance of -6.1% of UK firms reducing budgets since the start of 2020. In addition, 25% of respondents recorded a budget cut, compared to 18.9% signalling growth.

The report drew results from a panel of around 300 UK marketing professionals from the UK’s top 1000 firms as the impact of the global pandemic has caused many budget cuts and paused from multiple businesses in the UK.

Industry bodies back government’s call to review keyword blocking

Industry bodies representing UK advertisers, agencies, publishers and ad tech companies have come together in support of a message by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) calling on brands to review their use of keyword blocking during the COVID-19 outbreak. It follows concerns that overzealous keyword blocking of coronavirus-related terms is impacting publishers’ ability to monetise news content.

Display ads least disruptive channel for consumers

New data from Epsilon and CJ Affiliate has found the majority (87%) of consumers are happy with the number of display ads they’re currently seeing from brands during this time. Epsilon and CJ Affiliate surveyed 4,045 consumers across five regions on their current ad preferences during the COVID-19 crisis.

Merchants free to sell via Google Shopping

A huge talking point which has got the community discussing this week was Google’s changes to its Google Shopping Service. In a blog post, Bill Ready President, Commerce at Google announced they will be advancing plans to make it free for merchants to sell on Google. From next week, search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free listings, helping merchants better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google.

Is this a good or bad move from the tech giant? Let us know in the comments below.