A new poll shows Britain’s media firms are increasingly optimistic about the prospects of an ad recovery.

The quarterly MediaGuardian/NOP survey of 224 media companies found that nearly 25% expect growth in UK adspend in the coming three months. This is up from just 5% in the last poll, conducted in April during the war on Iraq.

Over half the respondents believe the ad market will grow over the next twelve months, a 16% rise on the last survey. According to Manning Gottlieb OMD ceo Nick Manning, the findings reflect the “proverbial green shoots” of recovery for which the industry has been waiting.

The poll also found that 27% of media firms plan to increase their own marketing budgets in the next three months (up 8% on the previous quarter), and 44% intend to do so during the next year (up 9%).

However, few of these companies will spend their extra marketing cash on television ads – just 11% plan to raise TV outlay. In contrast, over 30% of respondents will hike investment in less expensive media such as direct marketing, and 34% will pour more into online marketing.

Manning added that many advertisers are reluctant to rush back to TV after shifting spend to cheaper media during the downturn.

“In hard times, people tend to move out of TV because it is such a capital-expensive medium,” he commented. “TV will not recover as strongly as some of the others.”

Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff