The quarterly survey of marketing spend showed that budgets grew to a three-quarter high in the second quarter of 2015, marking 11 successive quarters of growth.
Some 12.2% of companies increased budgets in the quarter compared to 11.8% in Q1 and 6.1% in the fourth quarter of 2014. Bellwether is forecasting a 4.2% growth in ad spend throughout the year.
However, marketers’ optimism towards their own financial prospects dropped with just 25.3% feeling confident about the future, down from 37.8% since the last survey and the lowest point in nine quarters.
Their confidence towards the wider industry also dropped to a two year low of 13.1%, down from 26% last quarter.
The report comes despite the recent General Election results, which saw a Tory majority back in Westminster, which IPA Bellwether Report author Paul Smith told Marketing Week in May was likely to result in a rise in confidence from marketers at the prospect of a ‘stable’ government.
His comments came after the last Bellwether Report, released in April, showed that more than a third (37.8%) of companies had become more optimistic during the period compared to 30.7% in Q4.
Speaking on the new report, IPA Director General Paul Bainsfair said: “With eleven quarters of successive growth in marketing budgets and a strong start to the financial year, this latest Bellwether is generally positive.
“With confidence on the wane, however, it is worth reminding marketers – as our effectiveness databank evidence attests – you won’t produce profits over time without maintaining brand building ad spend.”
Budget growth led by events and internet
The events category saw the greatest growth in Q2, with 7.4% of companies reporting an increase in spend, the highest number in three quarters.
Internet budgets also grew, but the 6.8% of companies reporting an increase was still the lowest number in two and a half years.