Friday, 18 January 2013


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

Marketing model".

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!

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