Many businesses rallied at the end of the year to increase their marketing budgets despite the uncertain economic environment.

The IPA Bellwether report shows that most businesses increased their marketing investment in Q4 2023, with 26% of businesses revising their spending. This represents the highest net balance since 2014. S&P Global predicts a “shallow recession” in the UK, with real-term ad spend declining 0.6% in 2023 and 0.7% in 2024. The report does not record the extent of these revisions or account for inflation adjustments.

Businesses remain optimistic about investing in advertising this year, with nearly half planning to expand their budgets. They are also more optimistic about their own financial prospects, with 32.4% of respondents more optimistic than three months ago. However, over 26.5% of respondents feel less optimistic about their industry’s prospects, with industry-wide sentiment remaining negative for over two years.