NEWS14 July 2011

Another quarter of cuts for UK marketing budgets

Financials UK

UK— Marketing budgets have been revised down for three quarters in a row, according to the latest figures from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s (IPA) Bellwether Report.

Almost a quarter of the 300 UK companies surveyed said marketing spend was reduced during the April–June period, with anecdotal evidence suggesting cuts were made to shore up profit margins amid a shaky economy.

A fifth of companies reported an increase in budgets, giving a net balance of –2.2% in favour of those making cuts. This is below the rate of –5% seen in the previous two quarters, which IPA president Nicola Mendelsohn (pictured) said offered “some comfort” to the industry.

However, a decline in confidence among companies about the prospects for their own industries “doesn’t augur well”, Mendelsohn said.

Report author Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, warned of a decline in actual marketing spend for the year as a whole if budget cuts continue over the next six months.