Decline in PR budgets slowing down, finds latest Bellwether Report

Marketing spend fell once more in the last quarter of 2009, but PR saw a slower rate of reduction than in the previous quarter, the latest IPA/BDO Bellwether survey has found.

Decline in PR budgets slowing: Bellwether Report
Decline in PR budgets slowing: Bellwether Report

The latest update, published today, reveals that overall marketing spend has fallen for the ninth quarter running in Q4 2009, but with the rate of budget trimming the slowest since Q1 2008.
The results follow a trend set from the previous report that suggested the PR industry could be optimistic going into 2010 (PRWeek, 12 October 2009).  
The results showed that the ‘all other' category, into which PR falls, saw a four per cent downward decline in budgets in Q4. This compared with a fall of 24.4 per cent in Q3.
IPA president and vice-chairman of Ogilvy Group UK, Rory Sutherland, said: ‘These findings are welcome, in that they show the picture painted by the last Bellwether Report was not a false dawn.'
The survey also indicated that marketing spend looks set to improve in 2010, with preliminary data indicating that budgets have been set higher on average compared with actual spend in 2009.
Companies were the most optimistic about the financial outlook for their industries in almost five years, with 35 per cent of firms surveyed seeing improved prospects, consistent with growing confidence in the ongoing economic recovery.
Separately, the PRCA has released results from its Trends Barometer for Q3 and Q4 2009, which found that 35.8 per cent of the 67 respondents reported feeling more optimistic for the industry.
Some 34.3 per cent of respondents also reported seeing an increase in client budgets between 1 July and 31 December.
More than a third (35.3 per cent) of respondents said staff numbers had increased during the second quarters of 2009, while 39.4 per cent expected them to increase in Q1 2010.

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