The Week: Bellwether Report reveals new marketing budget cuts

Marketing budgets were revised down for the second consecutive quarter at the beginning of 2008 as business confidence continues to fall, according to latest IPA Bellwether Report.

The sharpest cuts to budgets in the first quarter of 2008 were felt in direct marketing, which fell by the largest amount for eight years, and the "all other" categories, which saw the steepest cuts for two years.

Main media budgets were unchanged in the first quarter and are set to see the fastest growth of all sectors over the year. This was helped by online advertising, which continues to rise.

The report blamed the cuts on subdued consumer spending and ongoing concerns about the health of the UK economy. Moray MacLennan, the IPA president and European chairman of M&C Saatchi, said: "We should not be surprised budgets are being revised. But it is a good moment to remind advertisers that those that maintain the strongest marketing spend will come out on top."