OPINION28 September 2017

Stranger than fiction

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From acquisitions to changing business models and political uncertainty, businesses and financial markets are in a state of flux. Which is all quite normal says Lorna Tilbian.

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It is a well-known axiom that stock markets hate uncertainty. Yet despite four years of political uncertainty in the UK, the FTSE 100 Index hit a new high of 7547 on May 26, 2017. That’s because a less well-known fact is that markets climb so-called ‘walls of worry’. It is why Warren Buffett claims to be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy. It’s reverse human psychology.

Moving from markets to media, the newest trend in ad land is that of management consultants snapping up advertising agencies – such as Accenture buying Karmarama – in order to set themselves apart from competitors and to get closer to the end user through experiential marketing. It’s the reversal of an old trend last seen in the 80s when Saatchi & Saatchi – then the world’s largest advertising network – was busy acquiring Gartner and Petersen, established international consultants to create a one-stop shop. Plus ça change.

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