Ad budgets up again but the fat lady’s not singing yet

The advertising and marketing industry is continuing its impressive recovery from the depths of Covid despair, with Q3 budgets increasing at the strongest rate for more than four years – direct marketing was one of the strongest performers – but lingering uncertainties around virus cases as we head into winter mean the sector is not out of the woods just yet.

The latest IPA Bellwether Report, which reveals the final loosening of pandemic-related restrictions enabled a further march forward in the broader economic recovery. Total marketing expenditure grew at the fastest pace since the second quarter of 2017, as a net balance of +12.8% of firms registered upward budget revisions in Q3 2021, from +6.0% in Q2.

FirmDecisions global chief executive Federica Bowman said: “With the UK economy starting to grow as lockdown measures are relaxed, the advertising sector is similarly showing significant signs of recovery. Advertising and media agencies are reaping the rewards as businesses reinvest in marketing and expenditure returns to early 2017 rates of growth. But with uncertainty remaining in the economy at large – exacerbated by Brexit-fallout and the persistent health impacts – business conditions will continue to be complex for marketing services agencies.”


Featured in Decision Marketing