About 50 percent of people approve of brands running “normal” advertising campaigns which aren’t linked to coronavirus, according to a multinational GlobalWebIndex study, fielded in 17 markets between March 31-April 2. The report marks the second installment of the researcher’s coronavirus-focused study, which initially surveyed 13 global markets, from March 16-20.

Compared to half of respondents that are okay with brands running “normal” advertising campaigns not linked to the pandemic, about 20 percent expressed disapproval of these campaigns. Consumers in Brazil, India and Italy showed the highest approval for “normal” advertising (an increase in 60 percent vs. 40-50 percent in most other places).

Nearly 90 percent of respondents approve of brands providing practical information and tips to help deal with the pandemic. About 80 percent of respondents expressed high approval ratings for brands running campaigns showcasing how they’re responding to the pandemic, how they’re helping customers and how they’re reaching out to customers to let them know how they’re responding. 

Respondents also expressed high approval ratings for brands that provide funny and light-hearted videos or content to entertain people, and brands suspending their normal factory production to help produce protective gear (77 percent for both).

Though half of respondents expressed approval of brands running ads unrelated to the coronavirus, about 75 percent approve of brands running promotions, offers and loyalty perks for customers.

This finding echoes consumers’ increased online shopping behavior. Across the 17 markets GlobalWebIndex surveyed, nearly half report they’re doing more online shopping, with China at the forefront. Two-thirds of Chinese respondents reported online shopping a lot more whereas one in three in the Philippines say they’re online shopping a lot or a little less.

Among those who said their online shopping has increased—Gen Z, millennials and higher income groups—the focus has been on essential products like food (33 percent are shopping online more for this), household essentials (29 percent) and personal care products (27 percent). 

The situation isn’t as positive for fashion retailers for just two in 10 online consumers say they’re shopping more for clothing. Among those who reported a drop in online shopping, eight percent say they’re shopping less for clothing.

Concern over the coronavirus pandemic has significantly grown since mid-March, particularly in the US, UK and Australia. The percentage of respondents who said they feel “extremely” or “very” concerned about the situation in their own country went from 75 percent from March 20 to 83 percent on April 2, 77 percent to 87 percent and 73 percent to 83 percent, respectively. 

Concern over the pandemic in China, the Philippines and Italy has remained stable. Levels of concern in China have only grown one percent, 55 percent to 56 percent, from March 20 to April 2 whereas levels of concern in the Philippines have increased one percent from 97 percent to 98 percent, from March 20 to April 2.

As for how respondents view the pandemic’s impact on personal finances vs. national finances, the biggest gaps are evident in Australia, the US, the UK, France, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand, all of which show a 50-point difference. Still, 80 percent or more respondents in all markets anticipate a dramatic impact on the global economy.