Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Has the Pre-Budget Report Been Good for You?

Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Has the Pre-Budget Report Been Good for You?

Article excerpt

Our panellists were not impressed by Chancellor Alistair Darling's statement, describing it variously as a cynical vote-getting tactic and a 'kick in the teeth' for the already struggling UK beer industry.

MAYBE - CHRIS MURPHY, CHAIRMAN, BALLOON DOG

We gauge the impact of any economic change by the way it affects our clients. There is a link between their prosperity and ours. Every one of our clients has been adversely affected in some way over the past few months - it's all a question of degree.

The pre-Budget announcement, while it is an attempt to reverse the downward spiral (and as such should be applauded), may not be enough to address the very deep-rooted worries that many consumers have. A few per cent off VAT does not make up for the threat of redundancy, mortgage default and so on. Such anxieties are real.

However, those customers who are still willing to spend, even if more modestly, will migrate to strong brands, great value and a good experience. One of our clients has improved its online shopping channel and seen a 60% increase over the past six weeks, and, ultimately, that helps us.

NO - DAVID HAIGH, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, BRAND FINANCE

Carry on, doctor ... Dr Gordon and Nurse Darling are desperately trying to restart the economy's heart after cardiac arrest caused by recession and the credit crisis.

Their defibrillator has two charges - one monetary, the other fiscal Interest rates have been slashed and the Bank of England is printing money. Taxes will be cut and public investment increased to revive consumer spending.

Having let the patient die through inattention, they are determined to bring it back from the dead in time for the next election. The fact that the 'cure' will result in long-term health problems is of no concern.

It is clear that these measures are directed at socio-demographic groups most likely to vote Labour 18 months from now. Public-sector workers, pensioners, the unemployed and the low-paid benefit most. The economic stimulus will favour brands targeting these groups. Value for money and retailers' own-label offers in food and drink categories will benefit most of all. Luxury goods and consumer durables should pack up and become tax exiles.

MAYBE - FIONA BRIERLEY, HEAD OF MARKETING, STRUTT & PARKER

The report contained limited measures to support homeowners and mortgage-lending. …

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