Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Recession’s perfect storm speeds up change in ad industry


Why is it that the United States’ advertising as a proportion of marketing services is at its lowest point since 1977, maybe even lower than since the Second World War?

You may have guessed it it’s the recession.

But it will get better, Martin Sorrell, CEO of advertising giant WPP, said.

“The recession is less worse,” Sorrell said, repeating a favourite phrase of late, and while it’s the biggest recession since 1929 it is also “a perfect storm” that has brought forward change. 

“The recession has accelerated structural changes that were already happening,” Sorrell said at the Reuters Global Media Summit.

Will advertising ever go back to where it was? Yes, if you are looking at new media advertising on Kindles and mobile.

Amazon’s Kindle a double-edged sword for newspapers’s Kindle “wireless reading device” is an example of both the threat and opportunity that new media platforms pose for the newspaper industry, according to Quadrangle Group’s Josh Steiner.

Steiner owns one of the hard-to-find devices, which have been consistently sold-out on Amazon . He said its wireless features are particularly promising — you don’t have to plug into a PC or look for a WiFi hotspot. It’s also searchable and allows you to customize the type of news you want to read.