Marketing spend boosted but industry expectations still low

MARKETING spending has recently seen its highest increases for over a year, research released today reveals.

However, this rise was modest, and most business leaders are gloomy about industry prospects over the coming months, according to research from trade body the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).

The IPA’s Bellwether report, seen as an indication of the wider economy, said the balance of firms increasing spending – the number of companies with bigger budgets minus those with smaller ones – was at its highest level in the fourth quarter of last year since the third quarter of 2011. This balance was miniscule, however, with 17 per cent of companies reporting rises to 16 per cent saying they had seen cuts. And this was the second-smallest rise during the Christmas quarter in the last 12 years, with only 2011 seeing a more dismal performance.

The research also reveals that executives continue to be pessimistic about the industry they work in. An overwhelming number said the financial prospects for their industry were worse than three months ago.