Agencies’ expectations for this year on the rise

PR agencies are revising their income forecasts upwards for 2004 and are expecting to hire more staff, according to the second Communications Agencies Federation (CAF) Agency Barometer.

The survey found that 65 per cent of agencies are increasing income forecasts for the whole of this year and new media activity is the most buoyant.

The findings reflect those in the Q4 2003 Bellwether Report, which surveyed the opinions of client companies and indicated a positive outlook for marketing.

In the PR agency sector, 47 per cent of respondents indicated they were likely to increase full-time head counts in the next six months and 57 per cent of agencies said they had revised income forecasts upwards in Q4 since the third quarter.

But CAF and PRCA chairman Graham Lancaster advised a cool response.

He said: ‘[The survey’s budget forecast findings] mirror what clients are saying, and they know best as it is their budget. But I stress it is from a low base.’

The most favourable figures were reported by consultancies with a gross income of £2.5m-£5m, with 50 per cent indicating they had increased forecast ‘marginally’, 20 per cent ‘significantly’.

The findings cover the fourth quarter of 2003.

Kate Nicholas, p20

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