Bellwether shows marketing budgets cuts at slower rate

Q2 2009 Bellwether shows marketing budgets cuts at slower rate

The IPA’s latest Bellwether survey published today (13th July 2009) has found that for the second quarter in a row the rate of decline in marketing spend has eased, linked to an improvement in business confidence; with companies surveyed reporting that their financial prospects have improved for the first time since the first quarter of last year. This adds to the hope that the UK recession peaked in Q1.

Although the rate of decline remained severe for Q2, raising the risk of marketing spend falling in 2009 even more than in 2008, one-in-three companies reported that their financial prospects had improved compared to one-in-four reporting a deterioration.

Says Rory Sutherland, IPA President, Vice- Chairman, Ogilvy Group UK:
“To anyone optimistically inclined, 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.”

Spend was reduced for all categories of marketing in Q2, but at a slower rate of decline. Budgets for main media advertising and ‘all other’ (includes PR, event sponsorship and market research) were again hardest hit amongst those companies surveyed.    

The Bellwether Report is researched and published by Markit Economics on behalf of the IPA. It features original data drawn from a panel of around 300 UK marketing professionals and provides a key indicator of the health of the economy

After the Zentith optimedia report this is the second indication that the decline in advertising spend may be slowing. This means there will be opportunities for photographers and companies to increase their exposure to the industry and work on improving sales. Once the market starts coming back it will be interesting to see what type of content will be purchased. Will there be a definitive move to lower priced images or will there still be options for ‘premium’ priced photography and other media.

Marco | Editor

Editor at large and founder of a bunch of stockphoto businesses