Q2 2022 Bellwether Report

Total UK marketing budgets revised up in Q2 yet financial prospects and adspend forecasts fall

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

The Bellwether Report is researched and published by S&P Global 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 2022 survey:

  • Total UK marketing budget growth stays resilient in Q2 with net balance of +10.8% of UK companies revising their marketing budgets upward
  • Events budgets rise sharply as companies re-engage with face-to-face activities
  • Financial prospects deteriorate sharply as economic headwinds build
  • Adspend forecasts for 2022 and 2023 cut as cost of living crisis dents UK economy

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

"The Q2 Report out today shows that marketers are understandably concerned about the challenging business climate ahead, as reflected in the deterioration of their financial prospects. 

"It is interesting to see, however, amid the mounting economic headwinds, there were a number of businesses that signalled their intent to market aggressively to support their brand and gain market share from less-prepared competitors. This is usually a wise and canny move. All the IPA’s analysis on who does best in a downturn, shows that the companies that recover fastest are the ones that either maintain or increase their marketing spend during difficult economic times. Equally, cutting ad budgets - relative to competitors’ spend - in a recession undermines companies’ ability to grow future market share and profits.

"Meanwhile, others were also planning for the challenges ahead by positioning their businesses to support customers through difficult times.  Brands need to be seen and continue to work for the benefit of consumers. They are important because they offer choice which ensures competition and lower prices, which in the months ahead will be important for consumers looking to spend their money wisely."