Belfast Telegraph

Advertisers to up spending by 3.3% as the economy recovers

By David Elliott

A healthier economy and more confident outlook will lead to a hike in advertising spend by UK companies in the coming year, according to an industry report.

'Adspend' will climb by 3.3% in 2014 across the UK on the back of predicted economic growth, the same again in 2015 and by 4% in the following three years, the Institute of Practioning in Advertising said in its Bellwether report.

The more buoyant outlook follows chimes with indications that companies increased their marketing budgets in the last quarter of 2013.

Of the 300 companies surveyed, the report (above) indicated that most – a net balance of 11% – are upping their marketing spend.

The result is the second-most positive in the survey's 13-year history. When it comes to types of marketing spend, there is some degree of divergence across the sector. Internet spending climbed 9.2% in the fourth quarter of 2013, sales promotion climbed 1.9%, events 1.8%, direct marketing 1.2% and main media advertising remained unchanged. On the downside, market research fell 2.5%, public relations 2.8% and 'other' by 2.3%.

Stephen Roycroft, IPA Northern Ireland chairman and deputy managing director of Ardmore Advertising in Holywood, said the results are encouraging.

"It is particularly encouraging that the advertising and marketing industry not only reflects the steady optimism in the market, but that it is a proven engine for growth," he said.

"Marketing budgets are investments not costs, and at the IPA there is an enormous body of case evidence to demonstrate the contribution our members make to client businesses surviving and then benefiting from an upturn."

Robert Lyle, media director at Lyle Bailey International in Belfast, said there are still uncertainties in the Northern Ireland marketing world.

"The IPA figures certainly suggest an optimistic 2014 for Great Britain-based marketing which is largely driven by the private sector," he said.

"However there are two issues – first, most of the growth comes from Internet and non-advertising spend (sales promotion, etc.).

"Secondly, the picture in Northern Ireland is yet to fully emerge where government spend plays a much more important role.

"The Executive is yet to confirm budgets for the next financial year (April onwards) and this will have a major impact on the local market.

"Slower growth in Northern Ireland would be the expectation, but at least some growth."

Belfast Telegraph

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