Q3 2019 Bellwether Report

UK companies cut marketing budgets for first time in seven years.

UK companies cut marketing budgets for first time in seven years amid heightened economic and political uncertainty.

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 2019 survey:

  • UK marketers recorded a slight reduction to spending availability in Q3 2019.
  • Continued shift towards digital marketing was once again highlighted as the internet category remained the top performer in the third quarter.
  • Company and industry-wide prospects remained in negative territory for a fourth consecutive quarter during the latest Bellwether survey, highlighting a sombre mood among panellists.
  • Adspend forecasts for 2019 subdued, but improvement forecast beyond 2020.

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

"It’s a false economy to cut one’s ad budget when things look uncertain. The evidence shows that far from being prudent, it can have a negative long-term effect on growth. Companies that hold their nerve consistently, and that invest in the 60:40 ratio of longer-term brand building to shorter-term sales activation, outperform the market."