OPINION17 September 2010

The case for gossip

Steve Phillips has just returned from the Esomar Congress were he learned more about the state of the industry in the bar than from most press releases.

Just back from the Esomar Congress where I was talking about our new model of advocacy. These conferences are always a mix of good fun and minor disappointment as too few of the people you want to see are there (clients) but the old faces you had a drink with last time (fellow agency types) seem to make it back again.

Over the last six months I have been reading the research press with some confusion as companies come out with upbeat statements (taking into account currency differentials or some such stuff) but industry stats all suggest things are pretty dire. Fortunately the gossip in the bar seems to sort out all of the confusion.

Sure things were dreadful and they still aren’t great but at least they aren’t as bad as they were. Everyone is desperate to put a brave face on things and look forward with some optimism (hence the press releases to buoy up staff) but the industry stats are much more accurate than we want to admit.

Of course suggesting press releases are somewhat self serving and paint a one sided picture is probably not a shock for most of you but I suppose just getting this universally acknowledged over a glass or two of wine took the edge off.