Q1 2022 Bellwether Report

Companies revise marketing budgets up to strongest levels since 2014 amid waning pandemic impact

The IPA Bellwether Report is a quarterly survey outlining companies’ marketing spend intentions and financial confidence.

The Bellwether Report is researched and published by IHS Markit on behalf of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising. The report features original data drawn from a panel of around 300 UK marketing professionals and provides a key indicator of the health of the economy. The survey panel has been carefully selected to represent all key business sectors, drawn primarily from the nation’s top 1000 companies.

Key findings from the Q1 2022 survey:

  • Total marketing budget growth close to eight-year high as businesses adjust to living with COVID-19
  • Marketing executives signal strong optimism towards budgets for 2022/23
  • Rising living costs, supply-chain disruption and war in Ukraine noted as key threats to the business outlook by panellists
  • Adspend forecasts lowered in 2022 and 2023 amid growing economic risks

Commenting on the latest survey results, IPA Director General Paul Bainsfair said:

"With Covid-19 restrictions ending, it is clear that UK companies are keen to capitalise on this moment and ramp up their marketing spend. This is welcome news now, but we know we face soaring inflation levels, cost of living increases, supply-chain issues, all exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and some sector recruitment shortages. With forty years of downturn data to learn from, the IPA knows beyond doubt that brands do best when they maintain their investment in longer-term brand-building media, complemented by a smaller ratio of sales activation media. This is the survival code for surviving a downturn."