What if TikTok gets banned: is it the end of the world for ad agencies?

Published: April 11, 2023

min read

TikTok is facing a potential ban threat in the US after several government agencies and experts convicted it of sharing user information with the Chinese government.

However, it is undeniable that TikTok continues to be the fastest-growing social network despite rising security concerns and persistent calls for a ban in the United States.

TikTok announced in 2021 that it had more than 1 billion monthly users worldwide, and in 2023 it announced that it had reached 150 million active monthly users in the US, up from 100 million in 2020.

In fact, according to a recent forecast from insider intelligence, the ad revenue of the platform is predicted to increase by 28% to about $22 billion in 2025.

Ad agencies and the TikTok ban:

Many ad agencies operating in TikTok's world don't seem concerned about a potential ban because they generally believe their lessons apply to other social platforms.

Digiday recently spoke with five media agencies regarding the possible TikTok ban and their standpoints on it.

According to most agencies, it would be premature to cut TikTok budgets at this time, and they are still reluctant to advise clients to cut back on their spending. For them, TikTok strategies and digital businesses can be used on any other platform if the ban were to happen.

The TikTok ban, according to one of the agency owners, will have a significant impact on brands and creators, but she also agreed that clients will simply switch to other platforms.

As many creators frequently publish on multiple platforms, they think it will take more effort, but it is possible to transfer influencers' followers to other platforms.

TikTok ban: How will ad agencies face it?

TikTok has already begun to convince agency owners through various meetings with leaders in the ad industry.

And TikTok is also presumably working on a backup plan. ByteDance, the app’s Chinese parent company, and another social platform, lemon8, were recently ranked No. 9 from being an unranked app among the top free apps in the U.S. in the top charts of the U.S. App Store.

Irrespective of all its efforts, if the app gets banned, it does not mean the world will stop for ad agencies.

Agencies will start adapting to new platforms after some initial noise and struggle. There are so many platforms emerging in the market—other than YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook—that could be a potential replacement for TikTok.

Though the majority of ad agencies believe the ban is unlikely to happen, it is important for them to develop a holistic social media strategy for brands and explore replica platforms so as to combat the aftermath of the TikTok ban.

Because, ultimately, if a brand remains tuned to audiences, things will start falling into place.

However, the transition will not be easy, but it is not insurmountable.

The key to making the transition simple is to seek out the influencers who are trending on other platforms that their respective clients want to migrate to.

If you did not already know, agencies are now using the AI tools available in the market to find creators that match a brand’s goals and objectives to make the journey smooth. It will make the process even easier for them.

On top of all, in this fast-paced world, people are already accustomed to consuming so much digital content. Thus, no matter what the final verdict is, the world will move on and adapt.

As a result, a potential replacement will soon come and fill the void left by TikTok for advertising agencies much sooner than they could expect.


Jasmine Jackson

Jasmine is a social media maven with a talent for building engaged communities. She's a natural storyteller and has a way of making complex ideas accessible to everyone. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and exploring new cuisines.


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