Global market within reach

What does 1995 hold for the advertising and marketing industry? One thing is for certain – the Asia-Pacific region will play a key role.

SBHD: What does 1995 hold for the advertising and marketing industry? One thing is for certain – the Asia-Pacific region will play a key role.

Prediction is fraught with peril at the best of times, but it does not take much foresight to identify some of the key trends and issues that are likely to loom large for the advertising and marketing industry in 1995 and beyond.

In global terms, the Asia-Pacific region will be the focus of increasing attention for marketers and agencies as they race to establish and consolidate beachheads in the fast developing economies of China, Korea, Indonesia and India. Companies seeking new opportunities outside their traditional markets will also take their first steps into South Africa and Latin America.

Media will continue to consolidate and strengthen its status as a separate specialist sector within the European communications business. Operators such as Zenith, MediaCom and the new TN Media (from FCB) will enlarge the battlefield to global proportions. This will challenge those such as Carat and CIA, whose operations do not extend beyond Europe and which lack the underpinning of a global agency network.

With the proliferation of TV channels in Europe, television will continue to strengthen its position as the indispensable component of European advertisers’ plans by offering even greater scope for carefully targeted campaigns. It will continue to attract European advertisers at the expense of the press. Advertising expenditure on satellite and cable channels will continue to rise as a proportion of total TV advertising spend.

The struggle between manufacturer brands and own-label will undoubtedly rumble on throughout the year. Perhaps both sides will realise that their best interests are interdependent in the long term, and that constructive co-operation is the only sensible approach.

The hot topic of “interactive” can also be expected to generate continuing heat. It will undoubtedly continue to occupy a lot of newsprint space, and agencies will vie strongly to proclaim their mastery of the subject, but the likelihood is that any real commercial application on a significant consumer marketing scale remains a long way off. It will certainly not bear fruit in 1995.

Major shifts in accounts among agencies will unceasingly reflect the continuing trend towards pan-European or global alignment of business among the leading networks. No longer are the attractions perceived mainly by the US multinationals. Their European and Japanese counterparts have now joined the throng – as experience through 1994 has shown. Such alignment will force a more relaxed attitude towards account conflict across national borders.

Finally, and regrettably, 1995 is likely to see the demise of a score of agencies in France. A number of small and medium independents have fought to remain viable in the face of recession and the impact of the Loi Sapin, but it is clear that the end of the road is nigh.

John Shannon is president of Grey International.

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