LONDON Jan 17 Companies raised their marketing
budgets for the first time in three quarters in the final months
of last year, reflecting a glimmer of optimism for 2013,
according to a survey published Thursday.
The IPA Bellwether report said 17 percent of companies
signalled a rise in marketing spend in the final quarter of
2012, compared with the 16 percent that cut budgets, resulting
in a net positive figure of 1.1 percentage points.
The outcome was a marked improvement from the near
three-year record reduction seen in the third quarter, when the
number of companies cutting budgets significantly outweighed
those spending more.
"Companies have grown more positive about their financial
prospects, setting marketing budgets higher for the coming year
to help beat a challenging business environment," said Chris
Williamson, chief economist at Markit and the report's author.
"However, the initial increase is one of the smallest seen
over the past 12 years, with only 2012 seeing a more downbeat
start to the year."
Growth was strongest in internet advertising, the survey
found. Traditional media advertising was flat, while spending on
PR, events and sales promotion all fell.
The IPA Bellwether report was based on a survey of around
300 companies based in Britain.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Dan Lalor)