“Cautious” marketers put budgets in reverse, says Bellwether

The fragile nature of the recovery in the marketing industry has been highlighted by the latest Bellwether report, which found that marketing budgets were revised down in the second quarter.

The gloomier forecast from marketers comes amid fears that the recovery in the UK economy is also faltering.

Financial think-tank the National Institute for Economic and Social Research said last week that quarter on quarter growth slowed to 0.7% in the three months to June, from 0.9% at the start of the year.

Many observers fear that the UK economy could be hit again in the next year after VAT increases to 20% in January and the extent of public sector job losses becomes known.

Despite the more pessimistic picture that emerged from Bellwether in the second quarter, other recent evidence suggests that advertising spend will grow this year following falls in the wake of the 2008/09 global recession. The latest Advertising Association/Warc data predicted overall market growth of 3.3% in 2010.

Commenting on Bellwether, Rory Sutherland, IPA President and vice-chairman of Ogilvy Group UK, says the “cautious” approach shown by marketers in the second quarter is understandable given the “uncertain” nature of the economy.

“However, though this indicates a less optimistic picture than previously thought for this year, marketing spend is still set to increase,” he adds.

Direct marketing, internet and internet search were the only media channels forecast to increase, according to Bellwether, with the net balance of those predicting uplift 1.2%, 10.1% and 6.6% respectively.

Sales promotion is expected to experience the steepest drop, by -11.5%.

Latest from Marketing Week

Hack your commute: Digitise your paper documents


Are you someone who prefers making handwritten notes to smartphone memos? Someone who believes the best way to read something with due consideration is to have it printed out so you can make notes in the margins? Someone who needs to make mark-ups on proofs on a regular basis? If so, on more than one […]


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here