Your editorial in the Marketing Week June 14 speculated on the development of marketing on a pan-European basis and on marketers becoming more European in outlook. Just a matter of weeks after we’ve collectively re-elected a sit-on-the-fence government, and rejected a Eurosceptic alternative, this sort of marketing “Europeanisation” still seems a long way away from our brave island economy. But the truth is that it’s probably closer than we think. In the same week that your editorial ran, news elsewhere suggested that the likely catalyst for these changes will be the single currency.
Although we haven’t signed up to it (yet), most of the rest of Europe has. And it’s about to start happening. Whatever your personal opinion of its merits, it’s about to join death and taxes and become inevitable. So how will the currency catalyst generate a reaction?
Picture the scene – July 2002, enlightened retailers will have started to price their goods in both pounds sterling and in euros – the same sort of twin price tickets already common in Euroland. Enlightened banks will be actively promoting accounts in euros, and enlightened employers will be paying salaries into those accounts, again in euros.
Whether you want to embrace it or escape it, it’ll have become a de facto part of our everyday lives. Trade barriers will tumble. Euro-pricing will become clear and comparable. So take heed and make haste – Old Father Time’s clock is ticking. If you don’t have a second language, book evening classes. If you prefer holidays in Brighton over Biarritz, have a rethink. Otherwise Europe might sneak up behind you and bite yer bum.
Brand communications manager
Goldfish Centrica Group Marketing