Marketing budgets continue “severe” decline

Marketing budgets continued to decline at a “severe” rate in the second quarter but there are signs that marketers believe the worst is behind them, according to a report.

Rory Sutherland
Rory Sutherland

The IPA’s Bellwether Report for the three months to the end of June shows that only 10% surveyed revised their marketing budgets up in the quarter while 38% reported a reduction as sales declined in a weakening economy.

However, the scale of downward revision eased for the second quarter in a row, prompting IPA president Rory Sutherland to believe the worst could be over.

“To anyone optimistically inclined, the April Bellwether seemed to signal the bottom of the market, and the new report suggests the worst is over.”

Marketers also appear to be reporting a slight improvement in business confidence.

The report shows one in three companies reporting that their firm’s financial prospects had improved in the quarter compared to one in four reporting deterioration. .

Despite some optimism the worst of the recession could be over, the report hits also hits a sober note, warning that current downward revision could push 2009 marketing spending even lower than last year, which saw the first annual fall in the survey’s history.

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