From A(NA) to B(rexit); Plus A Rare Cog Blog AdContrarian Podcast

This week I was looking forward to posting something uplifting and positive following the depressing litany of the agencies’ alleged misdemeanours as outlined in the ANA transparency report, and then along comes a far more serious threat to the industry’s well-being, as the UK votes to leave the European Union.

Regardless of what we may think of the political arguments aired during the campaign, the (at best) half-truths quoted by both sides during a highly acrimonious period of political activity, or even the appropriateness of a referendum as a way of deciding upon a complex and nuanced question, the facts are as they are and it’s worthwhile considering the implications for our little corner of industry.

Everybody hates uncertainty and for now at least uncertainty is what we’ve got.

I can imagine budgets not being approved, or at any rate delayed as advertisers work through the implications for them of an exit.

This may take some time as no-one seemed to have worked out what to do if the leave side won, so we have a vacuum, and a vacuum is not a good thing.

When there’s uncertainty the usual immediate reaction is to commit to what is seen as essential in the short-term on a ‘needs must’ basis, and to postpone any mid to longer-term activities.

Whatever the industry knows, or thinks it knows about long-term brand building and the link through to profit the reality is that we have collectively and over many years failed to make this message heard and understood in boardrooms.

Consequently expect to see a load of short-term promotional campaigns.

At the same time media choices tend to default towards the tried and trusted. In the last century’s frequent recessions, TV was generally fairly bomb-proof, whereas so-called secondary media forms tended to suffer.

But of course now we have far more choice. Will the principle still be followed? I expect so – clients will stick to what they know works. Safe and sure will be the motto, not try it and see.

… read on at

Originally posted by Brian Jacobs on The Cog Blog at BJ&A
1st July 2016

Brian Jacobs will be chairing a session during the 2016 asi Television & Video Conference on 2nd to 4th November in Budapest, Hungary.