Industry reaction to Q4 2016 Bellwether Report

Industry provides sector and regional reaction to Q4 2016 Bellwether Report.

Sector quotes:


James Goddard, Chief Executive JJ, Marketing:
"After a marginal reduction in PR budgets in Q3, the ongoing see-saw trend is reflected by the small upward expansion in Q4. Though the longer term forecast for PR is broadly neutral and lags well behind the broader and extremely welcome optimism in overall budgets, PR will continue to play an integral role in client marketing plans.”

Main Media

Tom George, Chairman UK and Northern Europe EMEA, MEC and chair of the IPA Media Futures Group:
“It’s fair to say that after the relatively more pessimistic outlook painted by the Q3 Bellwether report, the latest edition could be viewed as somewhat of a surprise particularly in regards to the main media category. Whilst the Q4 report signals a record run of growth extending over four years, the Q3 publication indicated a net balance decline of about 4% for the main media category.

Our own GroupM forecasts supported this pessimism as we revised down our forecasts in line with this sentiment. However, in line with this latest report, we have raised our growth figures to 7.2% year-on-year increase in ad expenditure. The difficulties faced by the print medium are well documented as is the resilience of television but paid search continues to grow as does digital display probably because of the focus on conquering the TV territory. Pure play internet is also a big growth driver with Google and Facebook capturing the majority of all growth (and seemingly impervious to the recently reported errors in measurement in the case of Facebook).”

Debbie Klein, CEO, Engine Europe and Asia Pacific:
“The Q4 2016 Bellwether forecast confirms what we in the industry have seen coming for some time now. As technology becomes more accessible and millennial shoppers continue to dominate, increased investment in immersive and experiential marketing, through both events and digital, is naturally seeing a boost.

“As a result of Brexit, consumer confidence and, by extension, domestic spending might take a hit in 2017. There is, however, a strong case to be made for innovative communications that focus on the longer-term and ultimately help brands to weather the storm. Consumers tend to gravitate towards brands that they know and trust during times of uncertainty. It is important, now more than ever, that brands continue to invest in their reputation and profile by communicating with their key audiences.”


Patrick Reid, CEO EMEA, Imagination:
“The challenging political and economic climate of 2016 is not something that will be forgotten quickly even with an encouraging continued upward trend in marketing spend. In fact, the uncertainties of the past year remind us to remain restless in our efforts to seek out new methods of communication, which are capable of capturing the attention of rapidly evolving consumer audiences. This is now the time of Gen Z, and for the experience sector unquestionable opportunity for continued growth if we can move fast to capitalise on this experience hungry audience.”


Paul Mead, Foundere & Managing Director, VCCP Media and Chair of the IPA Search Group:
"Online advertising budgets showed another increase in the Q4 2016 Bellwether Report maintaining a remarkable run of over 7 years of positive momentum. Search remains an incredibly consistent investment line as a foundation of this with growth being driven by mobile" 

Pete Robins, Managing Partner, Agenda21 and Chair of the IPA Digital Media Group:
“2016 saw the continuation of the advances in ad tech and digitally led media consumption. As we better understand and join up the opportunity this represents, it appears people are continuing to feel confident to invest in media they can increasingly demonstrate is bringing business growth.”

Regional quotes:

England & Wales

Ben Quigley IPA Chairman England & Wales and Group Chief Executive, Everything Different:
"The latest Bellwether Report shows marketing budgets continue to thrive around the UK as sterling exchange rates benefit some categories, but economic uncertainty amid Brexit concerns, could dent this later in 2017.”


Jackie Holt, IPA North West City Head and Managing Partner, BJL:
“The latest report ends 2016 on a high note with marketers seemingly positive about their budgets and indeed the breakdown of 17/18 budgets confirms this optimism with a planned increase in spend. There is the element of uncertainty that surrounds the whole Brexit situation but most clients appear to be putting that potential effect to one-side until more is known and we see how inflation plays out in the economy. The Trump Presidency has the feel of real unpredictability about it and it may be that in the short-term its actions have more of a bigger role to play than UK domestic policies in determining business confidence. In the meantime, lets enjoy clients’ confidence and look to deliver great results that fuel the spend.”

Last updated 21 January 2022