Can advertising learn from past mistakes?

Having worked in marketing through 1987’s Black Monday, the 1990-1992 recession and more recently the dot-com crash of 2000, recent headlines proclaiming that “advertising revenue has fallen off a cliff” sound familiar.

GCap Media, the owner of Capital Radio, has just announced that ad revenue is 21 per cent down against this time last year, while other broadcast and print media confirm that the market is “very, very weak”.

Faced with such a scenario, most advertisers have one response – to slash budgets. This approach ignores the intelligence gleaned from previous recessions, when advertisers found that for the same money they gained a bigger market share. Furthermore, with resources moving below the line, spend became more accountable and cost-effective.

The challenge facing the marketing industry is simple: are we brave enough to learn from experience?

Magnus Wood

Planning partner


London EC1

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