Marketers were cautiously optimistic at the end of 2012 as budgets experienced a small increase, with internet advertising budgets seeing the largest rises.
The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising's quarterly Bellwether Survey, found that in the last three months of 2012, some 17 per cent of companies said they increased spend, compared to 16 per cent that cut back.
It's good news for industry, given that these are the highest increases revealed since Q3 in 2011, but even better news for those firms who focus on the internet, with this sector attracting positive net gains of 5.6 per cent.
Coupons, discounting and loyalty cards saw the largest cuts, with 6.8 per cent of respondents reining in their spending in this area, which is the biggest downward change in 18 months.
"Companies remain cautious about raising expenditure on marketing activities due to weaker than expected sales and profits last year, and ongoing uncertainty about the economic outlook at home and abroad," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit Economics, the firm that compiled the report.