TRADITIONAL media such as press and radio are “fighting back” as companies look to target their marketing in ways that will build their brands.

That was the conclusion of a leading Dorset marketer who took part in a quarterly report which looks at trends in the industry.

The latest Bellwether Report into marketing spending suggests the Brexit delay and the Tory leadership contest have been causing confusion among businesses and consumers.

Marketing West, based in Melbury Osmond near Dorchester, is among the contributors to the national report.

Its director Nigel Reeve said: “Main media like press and radio is fighting back. This traditional media reflects advertisers wanting to build long term brands rather than looking for a short term fix.”

The report found marketing spending overall had stalled after a surprise rise in the last quarter – but spending on press, radio and the internet had all increased.

Internet budgets increased by 11.5 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of this year, while mainstream media spending was up 5.6 per cent and events by 4.8 per cent.

Mr Reeve said: “Our monitoring in the south-west reflects this national figure. The growth in traditional media and the internet continues. As far as client-led events are concerned, this region is seeing even strong growth. We are looking at a year on year growth of over 10 per cent. Our clients are looking to talk directly to potential customers, which is fuelling this growth”.

The report is researched and published by IHS Markit on behalf of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA). It features original data drawn from a panel of around 300 UK marketing professionals.

It found the net balance of marketers increasing their spending had fallen from 8.7 per cent last quarter to zero this quarter.

Twenty per cent of panel members reported increased spending on marketing, but this was offset by those cutting expenditure. Sixty per cent were not expecting a change in their spending.

Panel members raised concerns that domestic conditions were damaging consumer confidence and hitting consumption, with Brexit and the prospect of trade wars creating uncertainty.

Thirty-four per cent of executives were pessimistic about the outlook towards finances in their industry, while eight per cent were optimistic.

Paul Bainsfair, director general of the IPA, said: “Between Boris, Jeremy and Brexit, coupled with a dip in consumer confidence, it is perhaps no wonder that this quarter’s Bellwether shows zero growth to overall UK marketing budgets.

“Until a clearer political and economic path is outlined, the vast majority of companies are locked in stasis. It is reassuring to see, however, that some companies are revising up their investment in main media advertising; this is where they will build the longer term growth of their brands, which is crucial to weathering these tougher times.”