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Business News 2009
Business News->Rate of decline in marketing spend eases in Q3 as optimism grows
Rate of decline in marketing spend eases in Q3 as optimism grows

12 October 2009

Business marketingThe latest IPA/BDO Bellwether survey published today (12th October 2009) reveals that marketing spend fell for the eighth quarter running in Q3 but with the smallest reduction in budgets in over a year. Due to a strong rebound in business confidence – 47 per cent of companies surveyed are seeing improved prospects, consistent with the economy returning to growth. Amongst those companies surveyed, internet advertising was the only category to see an increase in spend with budgets rising for the first time since Q2 2008. ‘All other’ (below-the-line such as PR, events, sponsorship) again saw the steepest cuts. Main media advertising followed, but cuts here were the smallest for six consecutive quarters.

The retail and travel & entertainment sectors saw upward revisions to spend, with the steepest falls seen in financial services, other non-governmental services, IT & computing, and industrial sectors.

Says Jim Houghton, Head of Marketing Services, BDO LLP: "It will come as a great relief to the industry that the economic pressures seem to be easing. Evidently this relief won't be uniform, with online and sales focused marketing disciplines the strongest. After two years of dramatic decline, the industry also needs to reflect on what recovery will mean when it does finally arrive. The recession will no doubt have a long-term impact on marketing agencies but with intense competition and continued constrained budgets, companies will have to drive both brand and sales. Well targeted marketing spend will be key to achieving this objective."

Says Rory Sutherland, IPA President, Vice- Chairman, Ogilvy Group UK: "Although marketing spend is still falling this latest Bellwether is an encouraging sign that budget cutting is slowing. Whilst companies are still understandably wary the report reveals a strong rise in business confidence and the suggestion that GDP may well have risen in Q3. It will be interesting to see whether the rise in internet spend will presage an upturn in other categories. "

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