July 16, 2014 / 11:01 PM / in 4 years

UK firms raise advertising budgets for 7th quarter in row as confidence grows

LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) - British companies increased their marketing budgets for the seventh successive quarter from April to June as they sought to cash in on optimism over the country’s recovery from recession.

The IPA Bellwether report said on Thursday that 28.3 percent of companies signalled a rise in marketing spend in the second quarter of this year, compared with 13.1 percent that cut budgets.

The resulting net balance of 15.2 percent of companies increasing marketing spending was the second-highest in the report’s 14-year history after 20.4 percent the previous quarter.

“Marketing spend is surging higher as companies remain upbeat about the future,” said Markit economist Chris Williamson, who wrote the report.

“The extent to which business confidence has shown continual improvements over the past year is remarkable, generating a major inflow in investment in marketing,” he added.

Growth was the strongest in internet advertising, followed closely by traditional media advertising. Events, direct marketing, public relations and sales promotion also showed growth.

The IPA Bellwether report was based on a survey of around 300 companies based in Britain. (Reporting by Li-mei Hoang; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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