Exclusive by Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: With the economic downturn causing many consumers to question discretionary purchases, many suppliers have cut back on their advertising spend. Is this the right way to negotiate a recession? We asked Current.com.au’s consultant advertising expert, OgilvyOne’s Christopher Pascoe.

Pascoe also said that the economy was affecting the advertising industry, with less ads being booked and drops in revenue. We asked him how retailers and suppliers could react to this, in view of their own advertising strategies.

“Advertisers can approach this recession in one of two ways,” he said. “They can hold onto their advertising money, save it and perhaps put it to use in other areas of their business.

“Or they can see it as an opportunity, to take advantage of cheaper media and advertising space, reinforce their brand and market position.”

When asked which was the better option for getting through the downturn successfully and in prime position to capitalise on a resurgence, Pascoe opted for the latter.

“With the government’s stimulus package set it hit bank accounts shortly, brands such as Sony, Samsung and Panasonic should be working hard to encourage consumers to purchase their products.”  

But what’s the point of spending on advertising if consumers have already made the decision to save money and pay down debt?

“There is an inadequate fear that consumers are going to stop spending during this downturn – consumers will be looking to make smart purchases on quality products, they are not going to be able to make these smart decisions by themselves.”