Saturday, June 06, 2009

A joke is a joke but this is a pantomime

This is blog posting is about the marketing environment in the UK and is not specific to the 50-plus.

If you are a Brit you will know that we are living in weird times. Sorry, that is a daft understatement. We are living in terrifying times.

If you are gazing at the UK from overseas you might be picking up on the horror of a country where the 'ruling' political party is in terminal meltdown.

The news is dominated by the comings and goings of Labour MPs as Gordon Brown convulses and staggers to his ultimate demise. It is an unedifying and desperate sight.

During the past month we (Brits) seem to have forgotten that we are living slap bang in the early phases of long drawn out recession. Yes we have lots of “green shoot” stories and indeed things have stopped deteriorating at the same pace. Unfortunately, the UK’s future, for the next 5, maybe 10 years, will be one of a country with a horrendous fiscal deficit (i.e. we are spending far more money than we generate).

Last week Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator for the FT said: “The debate on how to curb public spending is, quite simply, the central issue in UK politics – the issue to be debated; it is not MPs’ expenses. It is how to share out the seemingly inescapable pain.”

Marketers in the UK, and US, had better start living in a world where taxes increase and government spending declines. Not for a year but for a decade. You had better be sure you know how this is going to affect your target markets.

If you think I am being overly pessimistic read this report from Policy Exchange and the IMF’s view of the UK’s future prospects. Dick Stroud

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