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It's No Depression, But I'm Gettin' One....
By: Jeff Louis
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I have a love/hate relationship with the aggregators that provide the news feeds to my laptop. I've been using two...one that is on my desk top that is on pretty much all the time. It works well, but some of the sites that I want feeds from don't load correctly. I also have my feeds set up on iGoogle and Google Reader. Actually, looking at it in a new light, it's not the aggregators, it's the state of the advertising industry that has my panties bunched up in a wad. To give you an idea of what we as an industry face, I went back in time and pulled some of the juicier headlines from the last couple months:

TV Revs to Decline 21% in Two Years

TV revenues are expected to plunge below the $20 billion mark beginning in 2009. The past six years have showed that TV revenues remained steady, in the area of $20-$22 billion. The BIA states that 2009 will show a 20% or greater decline, dropping to $17 billion. The forecast does not call for the TV industry to recover until 2012.
Media Industry Job Cuts Soar 57%
The number of job cuts in corporate America between January and April was up 9 percent from the same time period last year. In the media industry, job cuts are up 57 percent over last year, according to a survey from consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Although analyst's state that it's not time to panic, what is it time for? Tea & Crumpets? (These statistics are from 5/2/2008)

 

Media Jobs Disappearing
The job market for U.S. media employment has dropped to it's lowest point in 15 years. Much of this has to do with the dying throes of the newspaper industry, as well as the automotive and housing industry "set-backs," which were not what would be commonly known as beneficial. However, one bright spot is that the market consultant profession gained the bulk of new jobs last year, according to AdAge. Media positions are low compared to levels in 2000. It's estimated that newspapers, nationwide, have cut 25% (1 of 4) positions since 1990, when newspapers made up half of the media jobs available in the U.S.

Analysts Expect More Major Media Company Cuts to Come
The U.S. Labor Department reported that some 530,000 jobs were lost in November of 2008 which, at the time, brought the unemployment rate to 6.7%. The media industry did it's best ensuring the numbers were high, as Viacom and NBC combined to chop 1400 positions.

Viacom and NBC both cut jobs last week. Viacom dumped 850 workers, while NBC cut jobs at its NBC News and broadcast ops in an ongoing effort to hack a total of 500 jobs. And those cuts are just the tip of the iceberg, says Barclays Capital analyst Anthony DiClemente (via Mediaweek). "Further work-force reduction announcements should be expected from the other large-cap media companies," he says.

WPP to Trim Thousands, Ogilvy Already Feeling the Knife
WPP announced that they would be cutting around 7,000 jobs worldwide. The media giant employs approximately 100,000 people. The U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain were cited by the company as markets under pressure, writes Reuters. The cuts have already begun. Adweek reports that WPP's Ogilvy Group reduced 10% of its staff today. The cuts affected Ogilvy & Mather, OgilvyOne, Ogilvy Interactive and OgilvyAction.

Omnicom Group is bracing for cut-backs, estimating that 3,500 of its 70,000 workers will get tossed.

Conclusions
The competition is fierce, to say the least. Right now, even receiving a phone interview is a victory. There is a lot of demand and zero supply. The bright light at the end of the tunnel is that advertising and media professionals tend to be extremely flexible, strategically creative, and work well under pressure--all huge assets. Think progressively and be bold; after all, what is the worst that could happen?

 



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About the Author

Jeff Louis: Media Planner, Brand Project Manager, blogger, and aspiring writer. Please leave a comment or get in touch with Jeff on Twitter. As always, thank you for reading!

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