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Is Advertising a Dying Business and Is It Too Late to Bring It Back to Health?

December 3, 2008

Published: December 3, 2008 at 09:36 AM GMT
Last Updated: December 8, 2008 at 09:36 AM GMT

The following commentary was the introduction to my 1993 book Adbashing: Surviving the Attacks on Advertising. In it I ask questions that take on even more critical importance today than 15-years ago when they were originally written.

On the surface the advertising industry appears to be a business where change comes with the territory. But the state of constant change is deceiving. In reality, the marketing, advertising and media businesses are staid and relatively unchanging. Practices and influences from as far back as the late-1800s are still dictating decisions. In the new media and marketing environment of the 21st Century, many of these practices no longer will be relevant.

Worse, these practices are killing the advertising business. Adherence to the past and reliance on traditional means of conducting business have precipitated a collapse of the foundation, structures and principles upon which the advertising industry, and our nation's economic support system are based.

During the past 20 years America's marketing muscle, upon which it built its worldwide economic and political strength, has been sapped. Case studies charting the decline of U.S. fill the bookstores. It is time to take a hard look at our approaches to marketing.

  1. First, are the resources with which we make marketing decisions relevant to today's corporations?
  2. Second, are advertising agencies prepared to respond to the radically altered environment in which they are operating?
  3. And third, can media companies react to the explosion of technological advances, the expanding universe of media opportunities and the impact of interactivity?

This book is about change: why and how the marketing, advertising and media businesses must completely change the concepts, premises and strategies upon which they operate. Much of this book is focused on changes that have taken place in society and the hidden impact they are having on the foundation of financial and consumer support for the television programs we watch, the magazines and newspapers we read, the radio stations to which we listen, the products we buy, the stores and locations in which we shop.

I hope all readers will be enlightened and will think about how they are responding to the reality of a changing world. My goal in writing Adbashing is that all of us in advertising and media may change and thrive and never be forced to confront the prospect of working in a dying business.

Jack Myers has been writing, speaking and consulting on the impact of change on media, marketing and advertising for more than two decades. He can be contacted at jm@jackmyers.com

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0 Comments
famebook - December 3, 2008
In my opinion, advertising in its historic form is dying and with it all the sins of the past. Sure we are in a transition (or resurrection) phase, but the signs are there for something new and 'cleansed'.

In the blink of an eye a handful of 'overnight successes' have re-shaped the world of media platforms and without much attention or regard to the hand that feeds them, have allowed the remora sharks of CPM based modelling to set up stalls alongside.

The reality now, is that escalated audiences are communicating like never before in centralised places and within those places the opportunity is rapidly developing to create value in the content. Suppose Facebook, Google et al are the oceans now, then is it any surprise that luxury liners are arriving to sail amongst them. Where one wouldn't expect to pay a tax for sailing the ocean, we will all queue as usual to buy tickets at varying costs for the different qualities of journey.

So I say don't panic...watch the publishing, music and TV brands/ labels, studios etc. re-align themselves (if they're smart) and the money will still be there, but will be coming from a different angle.

Not forsaking all of the above, there is one platform opportunity left and we're confident we'll be the ones to occupy the space. Register now!

www.famebook.com
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