NEWS21 January 2022

Marketing spend rises despite Omicron

Covid-19 Media News Trends UK

UK – Spending on marketing and advertising has slowed amid the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant but is still on an upward trajectory, according to the latest Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) Bellwether report.

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The report, which covers the fourth quarter of 2021, shows that advertising spending growth was 5.2%, down from 6.2% in the previous quarter.

The emergence of Omicron, as well as rising inflation and supply chain disruption were cited in the report as key factors impacting on budget growth and business sentiment.

Despite these issues, a new balance of 6.1% of companies said they were increasing their total marketing budgets.

Almost half ( 45.7%) of firms also told the IPA they expected spending on marketing to increase in 2022, with 11.2% saying they expected to see cuts.

The IPA Bellwether report is researched and published by IHS Markit on behalf of the IPA, and is based on data from around 300 UK marketing professionals.

Paul Bainsfair, director general at the IPA, said: “It is very welcome news that UK marketing budgets continue to be revised upwards. As we can see, however, Omicron has heightened uncertainty, altered consumer behaviour and subsequently impacted UK companies’ marketing budget decision making.

“Going forward, new variants – alongside supply chain issues and heightened inflation – may indeed induce further wobbles. The key for businesses to weather these fluctuations will be, where possible, to invest in the longer-term and in brand-building media.”