The summer sky over London pretty much every day throughout July and August.
Ever since March this year I have been predicting a downturn in the fortunes of our industry (not a disaster, just a down-turn) and a bit of a shock for ‘you youngens’ who have never operated in less than buoyant economic conditions. And since that prediction of course we have basically sailed on fine. I have spoken to most of my competitors in the last few months and those conversations tend to follow the same path; “So has this credit crunch, economy thing affected you yet”? And whilst I am sure we do fib to each other now and then to make it look as if we are doing a little better than we really are, on this point the answer has been consistently along the lines of; “absolutely no sign yet and order books look OK, but it must hit us soon surely”.
Well the news has not got any better as the technical credit crunch and banking crisis flows steadily into the real economy. I am no economist but my practical side fears this Monday a little as it is September 1st and the symbolic end of the summer holiday season and we are nearing the last quarter when falling revenues in some companies will be greeted with discretionary spending squeezes and cuts as managers try to protect the bottom line (and their bonuses). That will affect PR budgets. Psychologically too, the end of the summer holidays (or humid-grey period as it will now be known in the UK) will mean that tough decisions and harsh reality (avoided during the holidays) will be faced up to as everyone gets back and can make the ‘so how the hell are we gonna make our budget’ meeting. Bah humbug and have a nice weekend.