The Week: Bellwether report says the worst is over for adland

The IPA's latest Bellwether report, released this week, suggests that the worst may be over for the ad industry, as the rate at which marketing spend is declining slowed for the second quarter in a row.

The change has been linked to a rise in business confidence, with surveyed companies reporting that their financial prospects have improved for the first time since the first quarter of last year. Direct marketing budgets saw the strongest revisions in the report, which covered the second quarter of 2009, while sales promotion budgets were up for the first time since 2000.

Rory Sutherland, the IPA president and vice-chairman of Ogilvy Group UK, said: "To optimists, the April Bellwether seemed to signal the bottom of the market, and this new report suggests the worst is over. Budget cutting for all marketing communications categories seems to be slowing and the balance of executives reporting improved prospects moved into positive territory."