Forget all the talk of post-recession rebuilding.
We are still advertising with no accountability and must now reduce our expectations. The
coming nonsense is that when this recession is over, countries such as America & Britain
should seek and find our salvation in (in what will become a buzz phrase of 2009-10) a "new
Wrong. Actually we're just stuffed. Marketing & Advertising hit a
tree. There is no replacement advertising model for us to drive off in. We must
bash out the dents, clear the broken glass, remove the bumper from the front
wheel, and limp on as best we can. We should accommodate ourselves to that
prospect. Instead, as our prosperity sinks, the Marketing gurus rhetoric will
go skyward. "New challenges", "a new vision", "post-millennial economy",
"thinking outside the box" ... "new technology" how wearisome this inspirational
PowerPoint pap becomes.
Already I can hear the so-called great and the good of
the (failed) Marketing and Advertising community boasting of the next
generation of marketing thrust. Melancholy will be the spectacle of a range
of middle-aged-to-elderly marketing & advertising throwbacks burbling about
life changes and sea changes and gear changes and step changes for American
& British Marketing. "Post-recession Britain ... new age ... new marketing
dispensation ... recalibrate ... re-balance ... blah, blah, blah." Oh boy, is
this nonsense going to sound wise. The riff will be that Western Marketing, like
America & Britain's must reinvent themselves.Behind the curve, and
banging the table as ever, they all have not yet latched on to the rhetoric of
the "new economic model". They are still trying to kick life back into the old
one. So the talk until recently has been about "kick-starting" the old
economy. This mindless attempt to return to routine is an indication either of
the absence of imagination, or of panic. But as it becomes apparent even to the
Marketing & Advertising community that there is to be no return to that
golden decade of no hard choices and uninterrupted growth together with Top Down
Management techniques that have failed miserably.
Although (the argument will concede) the old rust-belt industries of the 20th century had to
go, the West turned its back on industry rather too readily. We were bedazzled by
Marketing services, fool's gold from Mad Ave ; Soho.We need (wait for it) a
new Marketing model. First, we must (argh) "rebalance" our economy.
Media Agencies must seek out (key words) "a new generation" of shiny new media
strengths, a second-wave advertising renaissance. What, then, are these
strengths? Our talent (runs the argument) for (key word) "innovation"; an "IT"
(key word) generation; the potential of our existing (key word) "creative"
agencies and (key words) "high added-value" marketing activity; and our (key
words) "genius for invention". Vital to all this will be (key words) "skills",
"training" and "education". We should remind ourselves, too, of that inestimable
resource to our economy: English as a (key words) "world language". And it will all be
just so much hot air. What is it, precisely, that we do so much better than any
other country, althought I must admit that all the trade magazines say at one
time or another that " American / British Advertising is the best in the
world". Whatever that means!