PR agency 'optimistic' of more sales next year
Although the firm has been buoyed by work from the public sector, it said that the increasing amount of red tape surrounding the tendering process was holding back profits.
Chief executive Alan Brown said: “The economic climate has been difficult for the advertising and PR industry over recent years, as firms have been a lot more cautious about the money they spend on marketing.
“This has not meant that we have lost our clients, as they are still keen to work with us on a number of campaigns. However, like many companies, we have had to drop our prices, which has had an impact on our profit margins.”
Although the firm said that it was concerned that Government spending on public service campaigns may begin to dry up, it did say that it was seeing a number of green shoots among its private clients, especially Newcastle-based builder Bellway and other construction firms.
Such confidence is backed up by a recent report by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), which found that the rate of decline of marketing spend slowed in the first quarter of this year, suggesting budget cutting may have reached its peak during the fourth quarter of 2008.
Robson Brown, which was launched 25 years ago by Mr Brown and chairman Stuart Robson, works for big UK brands, including AEG and DFDS Seaways, as well as leading North East firms with a national business such as baker Greggs and transport group Arriva.
Although the firm is positive about the remainder of its current financial year, it said that improvements in its communications meant that there was no longer a need to set up offices outside of the North East, having already pulled out of London around 10 years ago.
Mr Robson said: “We are certainly bucking the trend within the marketing sector as we are certainly seeing a number of green shoots which is keeping us optimistic.”