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Bellwether reaction Q2 2016

Industry provides sector and regional reaction to Q2 Survey.

Sector quotes:


James Goddard, Chief Executive, JJ Marketing:

James Goddard Chief Executive JJ Marketing, says: “It’s good to see Public Relations budgets were increased during the second quarter of 2016, following on from a net fall in the preceding survey. However, it is highly likely that this upward trend will now continue going into Q3 due to the uncertainty following the Brexit vote.”

Main Media

Tom George, Chairman UK and Northern Europe EMEA, MEC and chair of the IPA Media Futures Group:

“2016 seems destined to be remembered as a year of two halves - life pre and post the Brexit decision. If there was uncertainty regarding its impact on main media spend then it certainly isn’t reflected in the latest Bellwether where the net balance in the second quarter reached a two year high of +9.3%. Of course it can be argued that the survey took place before the outcome of the referendum was known and it is true that in the short term we would naturally expect more uncertainty as regards ad budgets.  However, even if we make some assumptions about its impact on advertising spend for the remainder of the year and revise downwards our forecasts, we still believe that 2016 will deliver a 5% growth (down from our current GroupM estimate of 6%). The longer-term effect is much more difficult to predict and we await with interest the next Bellwether publication.”


Pete Robins, Managing Partner, Agenda21 and chair of the IPA Digital Media Group:

“Despite being arguably one of the most advanced markets from a digital point of view, there still seems to be a growing appetite to try and explore digital media. This could be to do with its inherent agility and hence ability to manage financial risk as we move to an increasingly connected device world.”

Regional quotes:

England & Wales 

Ben Quigley IPA Chairman England & Wales and Group Chief Executive, Everything Different:

“The latest Bellwether continues to show an encouraging upward trend in marketing budgets around the UK, but obviously this is now tempered with greater uncertainty in the post-Brexit period about spend levels in the second half of the year” said Ben Quigley, IPA Chair England and Wales.”


Jackie Holt, IPA North West City Head and Managing Partner, BJL:

“There’s no doubt that Brexit has introduced a significant air of uncertainty into the economy in general and potentially this could lead to a reduction in client budgets. The fact is that we still do not know what the longer-term outcome will be, so in the immediate term businesses may delay some investment decisions until after we have a new PM and we can see how negotiations progress and what standing outside the EU might actually look like.

“There seems to be some evidence that budgets were already taking into account the Brexit effect and this may mean that spend bottoms out for the next quarter. We live in interesting times and as advertising and marketing professionals we can only encourage clients to maintain spend and continue to make their every pound work to maximum effect.”


Andrew Wilson, IPA City Head for West Midlands and Chief Executive, WAA:

WAA Group chief executive and Midlands IPA Head Andy Wilson said: "It is no surprise to see that the growth in spend largely revolves around events and internet - these are the areas where clients can touch and feel instant feedback and adjust accordingly.

"They also give organisations the opportunity to really gauge the opinion of their own customers, and that is hugely relevant at the moment because confusion reigns about the impact of recent political events.

"Whilst this feedback is offering reassurance about the decision to spend, it is still the agency's responsibility to offer expert consultancy and add value to the activity. Demonstrating, for example, how an event can help to create great content that can be seeded through other channels or how a speaker can be engaged as a longer term brand ambassador can make huge ROI differences and prove the case for other work-streams. 

"Although the backdrop is different than ever before, clients still need experience and calm expertise to help them answer internal questions and pressures whilst paving the way to their next successful activity. If anything, real agency partnerships are more valuable now than ever."

Last updated 14/07/2016

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