Another Opinion on Financial Services Advertising

AdAge has a roundup of what various marketing professionals think will happen to advertising spend in 2008. Of the ten people they quote, only one is a relatively impartial observer: TNS’ Jon Swallen. What does he say?

“The lesson to be learned from the past few recessions is that it obviously impacts different categories differently. Automotive … is already pretty grim, and budgets have already been pruned across the board. Retail is traditionally the most economically sensitive category when you have a downturn in GDP. We’re already seeing a flattening in spending by department stores, restaurants and a host of categories related to housing (including hardware, home furnishing and appliances). … What’s kind of interesting is that financial services — which is sort of in the center of the storm — has actually been quite robust. In the short term, at least, these guys are battling for a share of a shrinking pie.”

The last two sentences sound familiar.

But I have to admit that I’m surprised by his take on automotive advertising. His opinion does not seem supported by the data. I tend to side with the–admittedly impartial–CMO of Harley, who says “Our belief is that spending through a market downturn creates competitive advantage for the market upturn.”