JWT in Britain: A review of the year in advertising

1975—STARTED BADLY, ENDED WELL

Denis Lanigan

Advertisers and advertising agencies approached 1975 with extreme caution. They had barely survived the traumas of 1974-a year which was so very different from 1973, the last year of the consumer boom. 1974 began with the three-day week and it was a year in which the preoccupation of most manufacturers was not with marketing, selling and advertising but with production, raw materials, labour relations and sheer survival.

Therefore the mood in approaching 1975 was cautious. The prudent advertising agency in drawing up its annual plan has long learnt to discount client appropriations in establishing its cost base, and in 1975 it appears that advertisers, too, were building very much larger reserves into their advertising budget as a cushion against rising costs and disappointing profits, and these cautious figures in turn were discounted by advertising agencies. In the end 1975 was not nearly as bad as people had feared, and in the last quarter when advertisers were finding that their profits were perhaps not as disappointing as they had at one time thought, more money was being released into advertising giving a very strong finish to the year. But this did not disguise the fact that though total advertising increased by 11% in money terms, in 1975 the volume of advertising was down by 10%. Comprehensive data for 1974 is not yet available from the Advertising Association, but we do have the monthly revenue figures from the ITV companies: