Sunday, October 12, 2008

the strongest steel is forged in the hottest Furness

The bad blogger is back. I’m beginning to think I should change the name of my blog from toocleverbyfar to thebadblogger. But then life is pretty hectic right now. The financial world is in crisis, the meltdown predicted for years by economists that the US financial system would collapse, has come to fruition. In the past weeks terror has reigned on stock exchanges around the world. The US Treasury has made a move to step in to guarantee American’s savings and funds. In Europe governments have followed suite. There's no escaping it! A stockbroker friend said to me recently, these times are unlike anything experienced before. We just have to hold our nerve as we go along for the ride. And what a ride it’s going to be, we just don't realise how bad it actually is!

I've been noting significant decreases in media spend around the world and SA is no exception. Taking at look at advertising figures for June/July 2008 vs 2007 in South Africa you can already see a significant decrease in our adspend. There's no question these figures are going to drop even further. What’s particularly interesting about these figures is that the country’s second largest cellphone operator MTN decreased its marketing spend by 38% compared to the same period last year and most of this was in television.

South Africa has another interesting dynamic to contend with and that is our shifting political scenario. We have a new President and even some re-shuffling of ministerial posts. They face challenging times indeed. However, as our Group CEO Paul Harris says; "the strongest iron is forged in the hottest Furness." On the subject of politics and media, I was reading a recent US AdAge poll result which asked the question - Who is the better marketer. Obama or McCain? 68% went in favour of Obama and only 32% to McCain. Obama continues to use progressive digital media channels to communicate. In checking out some stats on this interesting subject I found a blogger who is tracking the the online noise of these candidates at . Now there's got to be a media lesson in this!

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