The Week: P&G and Unilever pledge not to slash marketing budgets

The consumer goods giants Unilever and Procter & Gamble have said they will not be cutting their marketing budgets, despite widespread fears among agencies that spend will be slashed as the world economy slows down.

AG Lafley, the chairman and chief executive of P&G, was reported in the Financial Times as saying his company's marketing spend would remain the same as last year. "Right now, plans are to spend the same percentage of sales," he said.

P&G indicated that it would be increasing its point-of-sale communications, where research indicated consumers were making more purchase decisions.

Meanwhile, Simon Rothon, the senior vice-president of global marketing services at Unilever, the owner of Lynx, said: "It's marketing wisdom that the advertisers that sustain advertising at the optimum level in a downturn are the ones who emerge with a much more sprightly step when they come out of a recession."