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! This recession is not a failure of market economics. It is a
reassertion of market economics after a decade in which we paid ourselves more
than we were producing, and funded it precariously and temporarily, together
with a total lack of accountability so that it took a while for the market to
rumble. Now a prosperity that always baffled ordinary citizens has collapsed.
The collapse of confidence is not irrational; it's the correction to a long run
of irrational confidence. All that stuff about the emerging Asian giants wasn't
just phrasemaking for party conference speeches. It was true. We're falling
behind. We face a mountain of debt: the difference between the life we are able
to sustain and the life we were enjoying. Marketing people, having misled the
customers for so long must now explain a reduction in their standard of living.
The great task facing the next generation of Top-Down Management is to help the
country to recognise and embrace its fate: that we should get poorer, and slip
with as good a grace as possible into the world's second league. Yes, there is a
rebalancing required: a rebalancing of popular expectation.