Posts Tagged ‘credit crunch’

Cheer up News Corp it might never happen

February 9, 2009


‘cept it has, hasn’t it?  While many blame the media for overhyping our collective financial woes and accelerating us all towards a depression, the industry is not immune to its own effects.  In fact, last week News Corp blamed its quarterly losses of $6.4bn on a huge decline in ad revenue.  Nobody is spending, because we’ve read in the papers and seen on the TV that it’s all rather grim out there, so you’re better off saving your pennies for a rainy day.  So, as us media people trip over each other in the dole queue, you could argue that we’ve cut our collective nose off to spite our collective face.

But fear not.  Seeing as I am completely ignorant of the inner workings of hedge funds, private equity, derivatives and the like, I can categorically sum the lot up as just imaginary numbers on a screen.  Banking and finance? It’s all a bit mysterious and hard to wrap your arms around isn’t it?  A bit like God.  And I’m agnostic.

Let’s leave the bankers to it, eh and get working on something we can affect. 


So, if the media helped fuel the speed of economic decline by undermining confidence, let’s just all get a bit of a collective cheer on and maybe, just maybe, we can chuckle our way back to the good times.  

Party on.

Even adult entertainment is feeling the pinch

January 23, 2009


Adult Entertainment

Adult Entertainment

It seems the financial downturn is impacting industries everywhere – even the adult entertainment industry is suffering!

But they’re not taking things lying down. As it were.

Hustler publisher Larry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis said they will request that Congress allocate $5 billion for a bailout of the adult entertainment industry, before they need to move from porn to pawning everything.

Francis said in a statement that “the US government should actively support the adult industry’s survival and growth, just as it feels the need to support any other industry cherished by the American people.”

In reality the porn industry is not seeing any significant dent in profits. Any droop in DVD sales is being offset by rising web activity. 

“People are too depressed to be sexually active,” Flynt said in the statement. “This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex. With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind. It’s time for Congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly.”


Communications in the credit crunch

January 5, 2009




With the media doing little to quell the hype around the credit crunch as we move into a new year I found myself thinking this morning about the effect that the dip in consumer confidence might have on the communications market. 


I’m not thinking of advertising, marketing or PR, but more of how the economic climate may affect consumers’ general appetite for IT and telecommunications.  With the average consumer now switched on 24/7 via access to broadband internet on the PC both at work and at home, and with mobile phones becoming increasingly useful information and entertainment tools, it is unlikely that fears of the impending recession will be enough to make us consider giving up these premium services, but is it enough to make us permanently change our communications habits? 


I envisage that, as consumers become more price-conscious, we might begin to re-examine the service providers’ and mobile operators’ offerings, becoming more discriminating between the various offers on the market and increasingly looking to combine services under one spend (think of Virgin’s quadplay digital TV, broadband, phone and mobile package).  Consumers certainly stand to benefit from better value in 2009, but which of the big players will be savvy enough to predict what we want and lead the market in delivering it?  Stay tuned….


A credit crunch Christmas

November 24, 2008



A year ago, few people had heard of the dreaded term ‘credit crunch’, but the phrase has now entered dictionaries.  We PR people were probably amongst the first to start splashing the financial crisis all over the media and already by Christmas 2007 we were already bored of talking about it.  This year, however, there is really no escape, with the credit crunch having now pervaded the lives of everyone in the UK in one form or another.  Employment figures dropped alarmingly fast this year, and as of exactly one month ago today, the Office for National Statistics announced figures showing negative economic growth meaning that we are on the brink of recession.  This doesn’t bode well for the millions of UK businesses that rely on the festive season to boost their yearly revenues. It is actually estimated that the Christmas shopping season can account for as much as forty per cent of a retail store’s annual revenue and as much as three-quarters of its annual profit.  But not this year!  

As the Guardian’s Steve Henry points out, there is a silver lining to every cloud, and this year it is the fact that Tesco has been the first of the UK’s biggest retailers to recognise that we’d really prefer not to be bombarded with celebrity-riddled luxury Christmas advertising this year (“Compare Tesco, who have – in my view – won the PR war by apparently ditching the overpaid celebs. That’s doing something new. That’s interesting.”). As he outlines the various advantages and disadvantages of spending millions of pounds to jump on Britain’s obsession with celeb culture at Christmas time, he asks us: “Is it time for advertising to explore new ways of talking to people? Is it possible that the credit crunch will force us all to look afresh at advertising and demand that it is more relevant, more authentic, and less wasteful?” – I hope so!  Even the biggest brands may not be able to afford to pay celebrities to dress up in silly Christmas outfits next year…

What does PR look like?

October 3, 2008

Welcome to a look behind the scenes at what the fashionistas in PR look like. PR peeps are notoriously fashion forward. They dress to impress clients, the press and anyone else who gets in their way. It is extremely difficult to find one that looks like crap but trust me if they are out there, I will be naming and shaming…maybe.

When I was looking for an interesting PR look today I did not have to look too far for inspiration. There is so much going on around the globe,  including the meltdown of financial institutions and the credit crunch. So I asked myself, what does meltdown chic look like? Fashionistas facing ruin should ramp up the stakes, wear lashings of colour and stand proud as a survivor of the credit crunch. I christen the look crunchy, melty, bailout chic!

Enter Amy, this week ‘s muse.  Amy’s outfit speaks volumes about our troubled times with it’s mix of high street labels and antique jewellery.  It screams,  “my taste, unlike global finance is not broken, busted or in need of a bailout!”

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