Sunday, 20 January 2013

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.

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