Balancing above and below the line


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Respondents to a recent WFA benchmark revealed that they spend slightly more on above the line than they do on below the line activity.

A survey of members of the IMC Forum found that globally the split between the two is 54:46%, with a more extreme bias found in Asia Pacific and North America where ratios are 61:39 and 63:37 respectively.

Europe and Latin America were closer to the global average with 58% of the A&P investment devoted to above the line in both regions.

The broad similarity in ratios between most regions is an indication that global guidance is likely to be in place at the majority of responding companies.

The results are based on responses from nine WFA member companies in the food, telecoms and FMCG sectors, some of which were region specific or global only.

Included in above-the-line expenditure were items such as media cost as well as associated agency cost and production. Below-the-line costs included sampling, promotion, point of sale, special packaging and below the line creative.
The survey was conducted at the request of an IMC Forum member and is just one example of the research carried by the WFA to help marketers learn from best practice.

To access a wide variety of similar research, WFA members should visit the WFA's Global Knowledge Base ( If you have misplaced your username and password contact

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