The UK marketing sector has been given a shot in the arm with the publication of a new report which showed companies have finally decided to up their marketing spend.
In a survey of 300 marketing executives, The Bellwether found a balance of over 7% have revised their budgets upward, and over 13% expect to do so later on in 2013.
The research, carried out by Markit on behalf of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, will be music to the ears of an industry which has suffered from five years of tightening spend since the start of the global economic crisis.
While relating to the UK as a whole, Stephen Roycroft, chairman of the IPA's Northern Ireland Group and deputy managing director of Holywood-based Ardmore Advertising, said Northern Ireland's sector should also benefit in the near future.
"We are delighted to see that vitality is returning to the marketing and advertising sector right across the UK," he said.
"The advertising and marketing sector in Northern Ireland traditionally follows a little behind the national curve, down or up, but it is crucial now that businesses invest in professional effective marketing in order to maximise their own share of any upturn in their own sector."
In a move which will be welcomed by internet publishers, the Bellwether report said the internet was a "key prop to the third successful quarterly upward revision to total marketing budgets".
There were also upward revisions to public relations budgets of 3.4%, sales promotion of 2%, main media advertising of 1.9% and direct marketing of 0.6%. Falls were witnessed in "other", down 3.2%, and events, 0.9%.
Welcoming the report, Paul Bainsfair, IPA director general, said: "This is very encouraging; with the upward revision of marketing spend in Q2 the highest for almost six years.
"Companies are beginning to shake off the cloak of recession and are becoming more confident in the economy.
"This bodes extremely well for continued growth in marketing spend for the rest of 2013. These figures should send a very upbeat message to the wider economy."
UK businesses are expected to revise budgets upwards