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Marketing budgets in Europe have dropped into decline for the first time since September 2020 amid a global slowdown in investment, according to the latest figures from WARC Media's Global Marketing Index (GMI).

Developed by WARC, the GMI is a monthly indicator of the state of the global marketing industry based on current conditions among practitioners. An index value above 50.0 indicates growth, while below 50.0 indicates decline. Practitioners who complete the survey receive the full analysis report.

Marketing budgets in Europe recorded an index value of 49.7, below the 50.0 mark and compared to 50.9 in April. This is the first time the region's budget index has been in decline since September 2020 following the initial COVID-19 disruption.

While the Americas and Asia Pacific are still recording growth in marketing budgets, this is at a slower rate than in recent months – the index value fell to 56.1 and 64.7, respectively.

This comes as media inflation hit record levels in 2021, particularly in Europe, and continues to grow in 2022: for example, the price of TV advertising in the UK increased by 33.7% last year. This, paired with the increasing cost of living and the issues with the global supply chain is likely to be the cause of this decline in the general state of advertising in Europe. 

The worsening of the European marketing industry is reinforced by the index for trading conditions - Europe is the only region to see a decline, for the first time since August 2020, with a value of 49.0.

The Global Marketing Index provides a unique monthly indicator of the state of the marketing industry.

If you currently work for a brand owner, media owner, creative or media agency – or any other organisation serving the marketing industry – then we want you to take part in our survey. The full report is shared with participants.