For several months now a certain virus has been making the headlines, leaving little space for anything else. According to factiva.com, “Coronavirus” or “Covid” featured in half of all articles published in France in April, meaning that all print, online and broadcast media legitimately were in a virus monomania, with little attention was given to anything else. The same trend can be seen across the world, as our partners in South America and across APAC recently wrote about.
But, times are changing. In July, three out of four media articles didn’t mention either word. And, as long as we recover swiftly from the second wave here in France, we can start to think about “La rentrée”. Known as the return to school and work, it has major significance in France as a new beginning of the year and this year will be even more of a fresh start. Media will be able to focus on major entertainment peaks like “Le Tour de France”, starting unusually on 29th August, or the French football league matches, starting on August 21. Even though public attendance in stadia will be limited to 5,000 people, this will mean that TV channels, pubs and betting sites will benefit from this recovery.
On the business front, tradeshows will be allowed from the beginning of September – even those that attract more than 5,000 people. That’s a good sign for the B2B sector but also for hospitality and travel companies that very much depend on business travellers. While French GDP declined by 13,8% in the 2nd quarter, we may then hope that businesses will be able to announce good news in terms of revenue and Bruno Le Maire, the French Finance Minister, can smile again.
The pandemic has changed our lives and these changes will last for some time – we can see it just by walking around the many cities where people have to wear face masks. But life continues, meaning there is now space for something else than the pandemic. “La rentrée” will show this, along with media headlines about “le maillot jaune” or performances of the PSG football club. If there is no resurgence of the disease, we may then expect that the next media monomania will be about the vaccine. The sooner the better.