The number of big budget accounts being reviewed in the UK has almost halved in the last year, while the number of smaller pitches has increased, according to figures from the Advertising Agency Register.

In the twelve months to the end of June, there were 126 pitches for accounts whose billings surpassed £10 million, down from 234 in the previous year. Over the same period, pitches for business below the £10m mark rose from 85 to 116.

Despite the decline in pitch activity, AAR owner Martin Jones insisted the figures were not signs of an imminent recession, but were a return to normal levels following the dotcom-fuelled ad boom last year and several big pitches in early 2000.

“The AAR figures bear out what we’re seeing,” commented Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s new business director Nicola Mendelsohn. “In large companies, marketing is one of the first things that gets cut back while in smaller ones advertising is seen as much more integral to the brand.”

News source: CampaignLive (UK)