While the number of new-business appointments declined by 17 per cent over the first half of the year, the nine-month figure suggests a positive improvement in the past three months.
Kerry Glazer, the chief executive at AAR, said the annual volume decreases since the fallout from the economic crisis "appear to be over".
According to the AAR Business Pulse Q3 report, the number of specifically advertising reviews dropped 4 per cent in the first nine months of the year, compared with the same period in 2013.
However, there were more pitches with a media budget of more than £20 million. Eight big advertising reviews – Argos, B&Q, Direct Line, Dixons, Dreams, Great Initiative, Skycig and Smart Energy GB – were completed in the first nine months of 2014, compared with six a year earlier.
The greatest decline was in the amount of standalone digital reviews. This fell by 17 per cent in the first nine months of the year, compared with the same period in 2013. Integrated reviews rose by 12.5 per cent year on year. However, as with most years, the vast majority were small in scale.
The number of direct marketing/CRM reviews remained constant, while the number of media pitches declined by 4 per cent year on year, although there were a number of major reviews including BGL, Camelot, Disney and Vodafone.
The report also said the travel and holidays sector provided the most new opportunities for agencies, taking over from retail in the first three-quarters of 2013.