NEWS13 July 2009

Bellwether Q2 suggests ‘worst is over', says IPA president

Financials UK

UK— Fewer companies reported cuts to marketing budgets in the second quarter of 2009 than in the first three months of the year, according to the latest figures from the Bellwether Report.


The survey of 300 companies, commissioned by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, found 38% decreased spend while 10% increased – compared to 45% and 7% respectively in Q1.

However, the report noted, “While this suggests the worst is over in terms of the speed of the downturn, the rate of decline remained severe.”

Spend on marketing activities was reduced across the board, but main media advertising and the ‘all other’ category – which includes research alongside below-the-line marketing activities – were the hardest hit, and a return to growth is still not expected until the second half of next year, the report said.

Still, IPA president and Ogilvy chairman Rory Sutherland put a positive spin on the findings. “To anyone optimistically inclined,” he said, “the April Bellwether seemed to signal the bottom of the market, and the new report suggests that the worst is over.

“Budget cutting for all marketing communications categories seems to be slowing and, while the economy is still tough, the balance of executives reporting improved prospects moved into positive territory for the first time since Q1 2008.”