NEWS12 October 2009

Bellwether finds budget cuts easing among UK marketers

Financials UK

UK— Cuts to overall marketing budgets continued to ease in the third quarter, according to the latest Bellwether report. But spend in the ‘all other’ category including research, PR and sponsorship remained hardest hit by the recession.


A net 24.4% of the 300 companies surveyed reported downward revisions to their ‘all other’ category budgets, which was up on the figure reported three months ago, whereas fewer firms were reporting cuts for the rest of the budget categories.

Main media advertising, sales promotion and direct marketing did still see net declines in spend, but budgets for internet and internet search were up for the first time since the second quarter of 2008.

Rory Sutherland, Ogilvy Group UK vice-chairman and president of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising – which commissions the Bellwether – said: “It will be interesting to see whether the rise in internet spend will presage an upturn in other categories.”

Overall, 28% of companies reported declines in budgets, down from 38% in the previous quarter, while the number of firms reporting an increase moved up to 13% from 10%. Report author Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit Economics, said the latest reading signalled “the smallest downward revision to budgets since Q2 of last year”.