A benchmark report has revealed that British companies have ramped up their advertising spend over the last three months as confidence over the UK economic recovery strengthened.

According to the IPA Bellwether report, nearly a third of the key 100 companies polled increased marketing spend between April and June this year.

Only 13% of companies had cut their budgets in this area.

"Marketing spend is surging higher as companies remain upbeat about the future," said the report's author, Chris Williamson, who also is a chief economist at Markit.

"The extent to which business confidence has shown continual improvements over the past year is remarkable, generating a major inflow in investment in marketing."

Overall the surge in marketing spend has meant levels hit the second-highest level in the report's 14-year history at 15.4%.

The highest level was 20.4% seen in the previous quarter.