Q2 2021 Bellwether Report

UK marketing budgets expand for first time in year and a half

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 Q2 2021 survey:

  • Total marketing budgets expand for the first time since Q4 2019
  • Marketing budgets see strongest upward revisions since Q1 2019 as businesses prepare for economic recovery
  • Financial prospects at company and industry level remain firmly in positive territory
  • Adspend forecasts revised higher for 2021

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

"These positive results mark the end of five quarters of continuous cuts. For revisions to UK marketing budgets to bounce back so quickly and strongly, following their nadir at the height of COVID-19 restrictions in Q2 2020, is very welcome news and corroborates our Bellwether prediction for a V-shaped recovery. As the vaccination rollout continues at pace and UK plc gears itself up for growth, we encourage companies to ramp up their advertising to make the most of post-lockdown, pent-up consumer demand."