Stop Talking about the Recession – No Way

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by: Dick Stroud

There is no doubt that the wall of bad news that the media has been chucking at the populace is partly to blame for the hard/harsh/ disastrous/catastrophic (take your pick) economic times we are experiencing.
Of course this collective “doom and gloom” psyche is built on the firm foundations of awful economic conditions.

Now there is no doubt that there is money to be made out of misery. I bet the big consultancies are, as we speak/read, doing a global search and replace on their marketing collateral from “marketing in a growth economy” to “marketing in the downturn”.

But for the majority of marketers the coming couple of years are going to be grim. Deloitte has published a report called: “Stop the presses: print in peril”. The bottom line is that it forecasts that the newspaper and magazine industry will be decimated in 2009, particularly in developed markets like the UK, with one out of every 10 print publications forced to reduce frequency by more than half, move online or close entirely.

Now let’s assume Deloitte’s is over stating the situation to get attention and that they are half right then this is still a huge change to the media landscape of the UK.

Strange that the media that has contributed its bit to the downturn could end up being one if its biggest casualties.

Obviously, this all affects media buying when targeting the 50-plus who are the bedrock of the newspaper industry. Is there a silver lining? You bet. Just think of what advertising deals you will be able to get. With ad revenues expected to drop 20%, led by a 30% fall in classified sector, you’re going to get some fantastic deals.

Clearly this is what the chairman and chief executive of Procter & Gamble thinks. He is quoted as saying he wants to "renegotiate" the company’s media spend across the world. Speaking to analysts, he said the company was looking to increase its "share of voice", while buying media at a lower cost. He thinks the current media environment was a "big opportunity" because since "whole industries have walked away from advertising (I think he means the car business)everything is getting renegotiated, and we want to be ahead of the curve." That is going to send a shudder down the spines of he media and media planning agencies.

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