Financial upheaval keeps ad men jumping

September 22, 2008

wallstreet.jpg The turmoil of Wall Street is keep Madison Avenue’s creative types on their toes.

As the New York Times points out, “The biggest challenge, executives say, is trying to keep up with the stunning economic and financial events and the resulting mood swings, as evidenced by the roller-coaster ride from the despair of Wednesday to the euphoria of Friday. All that makes it difficult to determine how to best persuade shoppers to open their wallets.”

The newspaper reports that New York Life, an insurance company, last week asked their agency, Taxi, to create a new round of ads to play up the company’s reliability in the aftermath of the AIG meltdown.

Similarly, the Wall Street Journal says, Oppenheimer Funds has scrambled to change up some of its advertising plans, pushing back two spots.

Those two ads are “more about taking proactive steps to adjust a portfolio and make an investment decision, and I think at this point we need to wait a few weeks,” says Bruce Dunbar, director of corporate communications at Oppenheimer. Right now, Mr. Dunbar says, “people will be thinking about how they are going to readjust in the short term, versus thinking about long term.”

Paul Jensen, general manager of Weber Shandwick’s New York office, tells AdAge that times call for the financial services industry to get out and restore confidence among clients, consumers, employees, etc.

“Now’s not the time to hide under a rock if the market has questions about your financial stability,” said Mr. Jensen.

Of course, given how fast the market is swinging these days, Madison Avenue probably has some more scrambling ahead.
Keep an eye on:

  • “Mad Men” won the Emmy for outstanding drama series at Sunday’s 60th annual Emmy Awards (LA Times)
  • First-rounds bids for 50 CBS Corp radio stations are due today — testing the health of the market (NY Post)
  • Carl Icahn makes his Yahoo board meeting debut Tuesday morning, and its still pushing for them to do something with Microsoft (Silicon Alley Insider)

(Photo: Reuters)

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