It’s May 1 and also Friday, so where ever you are reading this, we hope you’re keeping well and are looking forward to weekend.

With that in mind, here’s a roundup of the top headlines from the world of digital marketing this week in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Q1 figures – companies feeling the pinch

This week saw the release of Q1 figures from a number of companies including Amazon, Facebook, Twitter as well as a number of agencies. Each report has unveiled the current economic climate and its significant impact on revenue towards the latter half of the quarter. For instance, Facebook saw a reduction in advertising which led to a dip in ad revenue in the last three weeks of March. Meanwhile, Twitter surpassed its earnings projections for the first quarter of 2020, led by 24% growth year-over-year in monetizable daily active users.

In terms of agencies and ad tech firms, a number of them have updated figures reported in Q1 with WPP, Publicis Groupe and more experiencing falls in revenue towards the end of March. In ad tech, Criteo saw a 10% year-on-year fall in revenue as they reported revenues of $503 million for Q1. The ad-tech company stated the COVID-19 crisis impacted revenues by around $24 million during the period.

WPP request for UK government loan

Having released figures for Q1, WPP has requested to taxpayers for support through the pandemic as clients around the world continue to make cuts to spending etc.

Speaking to The Telegraph, chief executive Mark Read told the global advertising agency had applied for £600m of potential support under the Covid Corporate Financing Facility. The Bank of England scheme lets big companies borrow up to £1bn to help them avoid a cash crunch.

Financial Times launches subscription business initiative

With the rise of traffic on news sites and increase in subscriptions, The Financial Times’ consulting arm, FT Strategies, has launched a nine-month-long project to help grow sustainable, digital reader-revenue businesses with eight European subscription publishers, funded by Google as part of the Google News Initiative Subscriptions Lab — in a bid to retain new subscribers long-term.

Brands go DTC to capitalise on e-commerce surge

Retail brands across the marketing spectrum are accelerating their shift to e-commerce in response to the unfolding coronavirus crisis. For example, Heinz has introduced its first direct-to-consumer website offering bundles of core Heinz products to locked-down customers, with free shipping to NHS staff and other emergency service workers.

Shopify launches consumer shopping app ‘Shop’

E-commerce platform Shopify this week released a new app to support its one million merchants currently affected by the current economic changes to better connect with consumers and smaller businesses. The app is an update and rebrand of Shopify’s existing app Arrive, used for tracking packages from Shopify merchants and other retailers, which the company states have been used by 16 million consumers already.

Facebook unveils grant funding to financially support publishers

Similar to Google, Facebook has unveiled a $2 million grant fund which will aid 50 publishers in Australia and New Zealand with support in mentoring and training journalists who are reporting on the latest developments around the world — helping them to navigate the economic impact as well as building a sustainable digital business.