The majority response from the small-scale survey (a neat 100 respondents) is that marketers across industries are bracing their ad budgets for some form of reduction. Fifty-three percent of those polled said they expected a cutback within the next six months; 87% said they're already weathering the pinch.
"We've seen this before," Bob Liodice, president-CEO of the ANA, told Ad Age. "Ad spending tracks remarkably close to GDP."
The survey, conducted earlier this summer, asked ANA members across a range of industries -- from pharmaceutical and financial services to computers and technology and retail -- if they believed their marketing budgets would be reduced and to what extent.
Of the 87% already identifying cost savings, more than half believed their overall marketing budgets would be reduced between one and 10%; 27% thought their budgets would be reduced between 11% to 20%; another 10% of respondents feared the worst, estimating cuts of more than 30%.
Nothing is safe
Nothing, it seems, is safe. Of those planning cuts 69% said they'll reduce media budgets; 63% said they'll reduce production budgets; 63% will pressure agencies to reduce expenses; 63% will restrict travel and other expenses; and 61% said they will eliminate or delay new projects.
However, such cutbacks might not be the necessary route. According to Mr. Liodice, marketers who have done just the opposite in the face of economic slowdowns -- that is, increased their spending -- saw more sustained growth when they emerged from the storm.
"It's a great opportunity to capture some shared market," Mr. Liodice said. "Effective marketing spending during economic downturns is not about how much you spend, but also how you spend it."