Forty five per cent of companies believe business investment will increase following the end of the Iraq war, reports London PR shop Black and White Public Relations.

Eighty-two per cent of respondents to a survey conducted by the agency believe that business confidence will increase either a 'a little' or 'a lot' following the end of the war. Fifty-nine per cent declared themselves 'very optimistic' or 'fairly optimistic' that sales would grow over the next six months.

The survey also found that 73% of respondents expected their marketing spend to increase over the next twelve months by levels up to the inflation rate; only 27% thought budgets would remain static or fall.

When asked how they planned to spend their growing marketing budgets, 77% said they would spend more on their company's website and 65% said they would spend more on PR. Only 18% planned to spend more on advertising, and 9% on either sponsorship or exhibitions.

Commented B&W director Paul Gray: “The figures show businesses are optimistic about the war and bullish about sales growth, business investment and marketing budgets. Although the survey took place just before the liberation of Baghdad, it was already clear that businesses were expecting a 'post-war' bounce.”

[In a footnote to the report, B&W reveals that just sixty-six companies responded to its survey. Some marketers may wonder if such a minuscule sample is in any way representative of UK business sentiment?]

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff