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Markit Economics
Bellwether Report on Marketing Budgets
The quarterly Bellwether report has been produced since 2000 and provides up-to-date information and historical data on changes to UK marketing budgets.

As marketing spend is usually discretionary, it can be easily and quickly cut or raised in response to a changing business environment. The Bellwether therefore acts as a useful leading indicator for those monitoring economic growth, corporate profits, consumer spending and other economic variables, as well as providing a unique guide to budget setting for marketing professionals and media analysts. In particular, since the survey began in 2000 it has accurately anticipated changes in ‘official’ Advertising Association (AA) adspend data.

The Bellwether is based on a questionnaire survey of around 300 UK-based companies that provide regular information on trends in their marketing activities. Participating companies therefore include a broad variety of advertisers in terms of market sector and geographical location. Respondents are primarily marketing directors or similar.

Questionnaires are dispatched to companies in the final three weeks of each calendar quarter, requesting information relating to two key issues:
  • changes in the value of their marketing budgets and how those budgets have been allocated across activities such as media advertising, the internet, sales promotions, direct marketing etc.
  • financial prospects for both the respondent’s company and industry as a whole.
The report is compiled by Markit on behalf of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, and published on the second Monday of each quarter.

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