Advertising and promotions budgeting and the role of risk

Douglas West*, Gerard P PRENDERGAST

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose - This study aims to look at the conventional wisdom with regards to budgeting methods, processes, and sophistication in light of recent macro work relating budgetary approaches to risk-taking. Design/methodology/approach - Based on a survey of UK advertisers and personal interviews, current advertising and promotions budgeting methods and processes are summarized. A series of hypotheses relating risk, process and experience to advertising and promotions budgeting sophistication were tested. Findings - UK advertisers were found to use a variety of budgeting methods (two methods on average per company). Judgmental methods dominate, especially the "what is affordable" method, but at the same time more sophisticated methods like objective and task and measurement techniques (in particular return on investment) were solidly represented. The relationship between budgeting sophistication and risk was investigated, the premise being that risk and budgeting sophistication are inversely related, as well as budgetary processes and marketing experience. Research limitations/implications - Considerable insight is provided into the methods and processes being used. It is concluded that the explanation as to why firms use sophisticated or unsophisticated methods for setting their advertising and promotion budgets is largely related to organizational culture. Originality/value - Just over 1.5 percent of the UK's gross domestic product is spent on advertising and promotions (£19 billion). The study suggested that the primary reason for the lack of consensus on budgetary sophistication is that stakeholders involved with budgeting are far less concerned with specific methods than dealing with cultural norms, personalities, access to supporting data and policies and practices.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1457-1476
    Number of pages20
    JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2009

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Marketing

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Advertising
    • Budgets
    • Risk management
    • United Kingdom


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