This morning’s juxtaposition of interviews on BBC Radio 4′s Today Programme with investment guru Jim Rogers (close colleague of George Soros) and Martin Sorrell, head of marketing giant WPP, provides good insight of why we face economic meltdown.
Rogers gave his view about China’s huge donation of funds into the Euro bailout fund. He stressed that the proposed Euro crisis solution was a scam as all it did was to put back the time when the real issue has to be addressed. Most of the developed world, especially the US, are spending more than we earn.
Then Martin Sorrell came on to answer questions about WPP’s third quarter performance, growing nicely but reflecting a slow down. He was also asked to justify his rapidly increasing and huge remuneration. This on a day when research has revealed that pay for directors of the UK’s top businesses rose 50 per cent over the past year.
When asked whether companies should spend more or less on marketing in an economic downturn, Sorrell predicatably said they should spend more as clearly this means greater profits for WPP, the umbrella under which sits multi-national marketing giants including Ogilvy, Young and Rubicam, Chime Communications and TNS. For Sorrell to answer they should spend less on marketing would be like turkeys voting for Christmas.
WPP’S marketing agencies are in business to increase the market of their clients. They have only one aim: to make people spend more, to buy their clients’ products and services. And as WPP’s inexorably increasing profits and growth prove, they are brilliant at it.
Herein, however, is the root of the problem. Marketing companies have succeeded for many years now in making people think that the acquisition of something is more important than whether they can afford it.
This is unsurprising, for it would never enter the heads of well paid executives, creatives, planners, researchers working in WPP’s companies, rewarded for their success, that the majority of the people they are aiming at don’t have the money for the latest gadget, garment, gourmet experience… And so individuals, families, communities and indeed states where these marketing geniuses operate most effectively get further into debt.
One day, and that day is approaching faster than we care to think, the whole edifice will come tumbling down, and when it does, the millions we are paying ourselves will count for nothing.
On a micro level, families are finding it ever more difficult to pay for funerals of loved ones. If it helps at all, we give advice on how to reduce funeral costs. It’s not advice you’ll get from funeral directors such as Co-operative Funeralcare or Dignity Funerals.