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Will the UK’s IPA Bellwether report on Thursday show that better times are here at last?

The IPA’s ever efficient press office sent me a note yesterday advising me to look out for the latest edition of its Bellwether Report, due to be unveiled on Thursday.

Forewarned is forearmed they say; and I shall dutifully write this up (the report, from Markit, estimates marketers’ spending intentions) even though remarkably few people ever seem to read the reports.

But it’s unusual to receive such a seemingly buoyant ‘heads-up’, as they call them these days.

For the past few years the Bellwether numbers have been down a bit, occasionally up a bit less, reflecting the stagnating UK economy.

Have things changed? Is a combination of the sunshine, Andy Murray’s Wimbledon victory and the British Lions (not that the respondents to the survey knew anything about these when they ticked their boxes) an augury of better times to come for the UK?

Well let’s hope so. I feel a bit conflicted about this. Yes, an upturn would be great. But it will allow UK chancellor George Osborne, surely the worst economic manager since another Tory Anthony Barber back in the 1970s (and at least Barber tried to boost the economy) to claim his policies are working.

If the Bellwether does show signs of an upturn, and I don’t know if it will or not, it will have sod all to with Osborne.

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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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