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UK adspend starts to rise – Havas is up too

The IPA’s latest Bellwether report of UK advertisers says that 21 per cent spent a bit more in the first quarter of 2010 compared to just over 16 per cent who didn’t, leading to a modest rise of about 4.5 per cent writes City & Wall Street.

More significantly spending on non-digital advertising inched forward, the first time it has since 2007.

42 per cent of Bellwether repliers said they were optimistic about the rest of 2010, a substantial increase on previous levels. But such positive noises from the marketing department have been regularly scotched by the men in suits with calculators in the recent past so it’s a bit early to uncork the champagne.

At the same time French-owned holding company Havas has reported first quarter numbers with income up a modest, but meaningful 1.5 per cent. The owner of Euro RSCG reported that income was up over 20 per cent in Latin America and five per cent in North America although Europe continued to fall, down three per cent.

Later this week there’ll be some rather more substantial stats, not least the Office of National Statistics’ early view on GDP in the UK economy. This is incredibly hard to judge though as the ONS’s first stab at these things is usually wrong. Last time out it said the economy had inched out of recession by just 0.1 per cent, subsequently revising this to the 0.4 per cent predicted by most reputable City sources.

These are predicting another 0.4 per cent this time so let’s hope the ONS has been a bit more careful in its counting. There will be hell to pay if it produces numbers that are too low again but which affect the election.

Even more pertinently in terms of the global market, this week sees the start of the US quarterly reporting season with giants like Apple, IBM, Citibank and Microsoft due to face the markets.

Their figures will be good but maybe not good enough to reassure markets unnerved by the Goldman Sachs fraud case and the possibility that other big banks, like Britain’s Barclays, will also find themselves under the cosh for flogging investments that were too clever by half (we’re being polite here).

And then of course we’ve got the weather to take into account; the cold snap in the January and now the winds blowing clouds of Icelandic ash over Europe and screwing up the airline sector.

Who’d be an economic forecaster? Or a weather forecaster for that matter….

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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