Monday, February 18, 2008

And the award for most depressing lede ever written goes to:

"Get out of media. Get into marketing."

Yep, that's the lede for the saddest newspaper-related story you'll read all month. It's basic premise is laid out in its one-sentence lede and is only fleshed out from there, with such gut-punches as:

  • "One in four newspaper jobs have disappeared since newspaper employment peaked in 1990"
  • Looking at overall media (newspapers, broadcast and cable TV, radio, magazines and internet media companies ) staffing, "since media employment peaked in dot-com-infused 2000, media companies have eliminated one in six job"
  • Since May 2002, "a majority (11 of 19) media stocks have fallen"


  • "Employment in advertising/marketing-services -- agencies and other firms that provide marketing and communications services to marketers -- broke a record in November"
  • "Marketing consultancies over the past year added 14,500 jobs (up 10.8%), nearly matching staff cuts at newspapers (down 16,900 or 4.7%)"
  • Ad/marketing-services sectors have rebounded from the ad industry's January 2004 post-recession employment nadir. Advertising/marketing services has added 106,000 jobs since then

But that's a good thing, ultimately, for media, right? If all these marketers are booming, they need somewhere to market, right? Shouldn't we just wait for the national advertising to pour back into our papers like the waterfall it used to be?

Well... uh...

Marketers still invest in marketing, but they have options far beyond paid media: digital initiatives, direct marketing, promotions and events, just to name a few. That creates more opportunities for consultants to help define strategies.

Agencies also have adapted, expanding beyond simply creating and placing ads. Indeed, Ad Age DataCenter research has shown that U.S. marketing-communications agencies collectively in 2005 for the first time generated less than half of their revenue from traditional media and media planning/buying.

Yep, they've gone into business for themselves, realizing that the middleman was exactly that. Waiting for them to come back to a diminishing media landscape is like waiting for Godot.