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04 March 2024

UK advertising to see a drop in spend this year

Adland in 2009 will be no place for the faint-hearted. (GETTY IMAGES)

By Agencies

United Kingdom advertising will see a drop in spend, confirm a large segment of advertisers in a country-wide poll, reported AdAge.

This year will see a steep decline in advertising and the industry will be "no place for the faint-hearted" in 2009, according to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising's latest Bellwether Report.

The quarterly report by the UK's ad-agency association, which looks at budget-setting by 250 of the top 1,000 marketers in the UK, found for the first time in the report's nine-year history that annual marketing budgets are expected to be lower than in the previous year. For 2009, 45 per cent of marketers said they plan to spend less than in 2008, more than double the 20 per cent that said they plan to spend more. The remaining 35 per cent said their budgets would remain the same.

"This Bellwether Report suggests that Adland in 2009 will be no place for the faint-hearted. Confidence has plummeted, and the data suggests a steep decline in GDP for Q1," said Moray MacLennan, IPA president and worldwide Chief Executive Officer of M&C Saatchi.

Budgets are down because sales revenue is expected to fall and because of general concern about the economy. In fact, 75 per cent of marketers surveyed said they believe the financial prospects facing their industries have deteriorated compared to three months ago.

"Nevertheless, given that marketing and creativity are the solution and not the problem, it will be interesting to see when the investment community starts to look favourably on those who maintain budgets and increase share of voice, as they are more likely to succeed," MacLennan said.

Internet advertising already suffered a record reduction in budgets in the fourth quarter of 2008, although the rate of decline, about five per cent, was the slowest among all media categories. Above-the-line media suffered the worst cuts, at about 32 per cent.

"The survey shows spending on marketing is being cut at a rate far greater than ever previously seen," said Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at Markit and author of the Bellwether Report.