Advertising’s disappearing population

With respect to David Benady’s article (MW July 5), marketers should remain pessimistic about the economy. I have heard of three small but established companies going out of business in the past fortnight, all of them in marketing services. I don’t agree that the downturn in ad revenues is seasonal, due to diverting budgets into new media and CRM, or a correction following last year’s dot-com bubble.

Electric Marketing telephones 4,000 companies each month, tracking people’s moves and updating mailing lists. In June the phrases we heard over and over were “no, he won’t be replaced”, “we’re not recruiting” and even the rather scary “the managing director is dealing with marketing now”.

These factors, coupled with a rumour that some parts of BA have a recruitment freeze in place, leads me to believe that we are heading for a significant downturn. Consumers may still be spending freely, but I seem to remember that was the case in 1989, when ad agencies laid off staff and marketing budgets were slashed.

Melissa Mackey


Electric Marketing

London EC1N

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