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25th May 2021

‘Unless you’re highly pessimistic, we can look forward to bouncing back in 2022…’

Commentary on IPA Q1 Bellwether report - Robert Hunter

Robert Hunter, CEO offers his commentary on the latest Bellwether report from Q1

Although there are no real surprises within the latest IPA Bellwether report, the outlook on most fronts is nonetheless looking extremely positive.  We can all of course appreciate that OOH and Events, as sectors, are going to be suffering the most but unlike other downturns in business, this one has a 100% scientific reason behind it. We just have to hope that those people and companies whose livelihoods depend on marketing spends in these areas can ride out the final part of the storm.

Unless you’re generally highly pessimistic, we can all look forward to some form of bounce back in 2022. From my point of view, I anticipate normality, in terms of a majority of spends – including events and OOH – by end of Q3. At time of writing, scientists have announced that most vaccines can be adapted within six weeks to cope with new variants. We can all see the huge impact on reduction in hospitalisations and death rates the lock down and most importantly the vaccine program has had. So taking these factors into account, I cannot see why we should not all start planning hard for normalisation in spends at the start of Q4. There will no doubt be some great opportunities if you move first, so be on the look out for some great sites and venues at great prices.

Key highlights from the report:

▪ Total marketing budgets fall at the softest rate since the first quarter of 2020

▪ Coronavirus restrictions continue to weigh on business conditions

▪ Sentiment regarding industry-wide financial prospects turns positive, while own-company expectations strengthen further

▪ Budget plans for 2021/2022 point to a recovery in total adspending, led by Main Media


Report in more detail can be seen here: Q1 2021 IPA Bellwether Report – download it here


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