Archive for March, 2009

G20 summit

Posted in Economics on 31/03/2009 by nicka77

As we all know, this economic summit is taking place at a time of unprecedented economic turmoil, and it’s critical that actionable solutions are agreed and pushed forward by the countries taking part.

Although I agree with the fact that people should be able to protest, and indeed should protest when they believe in something, I do hope that these protests are peaceful and there is no action taken that will hinder the G20 from fulfilling its ambition to stem this downturn and return the global economy to growth.

Given the fact that market forces are powerful and unstoppable, however, I do have grave doubts that any Government or group of politicians actually has the power to stop this runaway train from continuing along the path it has set, and crashing headlong into the barriers.

However, what this group of politicians do need to do is understand what is within their power, and to ensure that they 1. don’t allow such extreme risk-taking and short-termism to permeate the culture and everyday workings of the banking system moving forward, and 2. ensure that  a more liberal form of pure-market capitalism is developed to ensure greater equality of wealth between developed and emerging markets.

The first point – to eradicate the culture of extreme risk taking – is simple enough if stringent regulations are put in place at both a national and international level to ensure that investment bankers, hedge funds, currency speculators et al are not able to destabilse the system or certain institutions by shorting them, making runs on them, or betting against them within relatively miniscule time-frames.

The second point – to create a more liberal form of capitalism – is a harder task but one that must be aggressively pursued. Although I don’t agree with Sarkozy’s stance of walking out of the G20 summit if he doesn’t achieve his aim of a global financial regulator, he does have a point. That is to say that some form of supra-national system needs to be imposed by every national Government to create a co-ordinated approach to delivering tangible, sustainable systems through which to assist and support developing economies.

One notion that I have believed in for a very long time is to create a sliding-scale tax on all corporate profits in every developed country, where the monies are distributed to developing markets to aid state infrastructure and local industry. This would redress the imbalance of the structures set in place by the IMF and World Bank over the last 20-30 years. Of course this doesn’t address the issue of corrupt governance in developing markets, but that is another topic for another time.

This idea may be overly simplistic, but now that the banks are being part-nationalised, and may need to become wholly state owned for a period to save the financial system, this is an unprecedented opportunity for liberal leaders such as Obama, Brown & Sarkozy to impose developmentalist ideologies to any future credit arrangements between banks and the corporate sector. These developmentalist ideologies should also include clauses relating to the environment regarding targets for carbon emissions and climate change.

Again, my knowledge of the intricacies of global finance and high level politics is sketchy at best, but it seems to me that we have reached a watershed in the evolution of the global economy, where un-fettered profits in the developed world to the detriment of huge swathes of the global population will no longer be tolerated. 

The time for action is upon us, and the G20 summit is the best chance we have had in decades for achieving real change.


Steel Cage Debate on the future of advertising

Posted in Advertising, Brand, Digital, Marketing, Social Media, Technology on 29/03/2009 by nicka77

The post from Eric Clemons on (as reported below) has caused such uproar that an online bout of UFC-style thrust and counter-thrust has been ordered to settle the debate.

Ring side seats here:


In the red corner, Eric Clemons sticks to his guns about the death of the advertising model, with the internet being the key factor in its demise.

In the blue corner, Danny Sullivan, a respected influencer in the blogosphere, and editor-in-chief of SearchEngineLand, constructs a passionate and animated response

JetBlue – JWT

Posted in Advertising, Brand, Marketing on 29/03/2009 by nicka77

Witty and subversive take on the recent clampdown on CEO perks by JWT in New York for the airline JetBlue – potentially a risky strategy at a time of such unease and public angst, but i think this viral campaign gets the balance just right – and gets the brands’ irreverence across in a positive manner, in addition to communicating the core product and service benefits.


Spoke to Bob Jeffrey, Worldwide CEO & Chairman of JWT, about this campaign in New York on Thursday, when we were discussing the broader ramifications of the recession and its impact on the marketing and advertising industries.

Further news of the interviews i conducted in New York will be appearing soon – and also of the interviews that will be taking place in a variety of cities across the world over the coming months. Details are currently under wraps but will be revealed soon.

Earth Hour 2009

Posted in Culture, Marketing on 29/03/2009 by nicka77

A very noble and worthy movement – originally devised by Leo Burnett Sydney – to create a symbolic gesture that people, businesses, politicians and governments can rally around to actually generate some momentum and deliver some form of meaningful, tangible action with regard to climate change.

This ‘campaign’ – for want of a better word – will not do anything in itself, but by creating a moment in time for people to focus on the environment, and have a better understanding of the amount of energy we use and the damage we do every single hour of every single day, even when our businesses are closed, is a useful exercise.


Ireland – Grand Slam Champions

Posted in Sport on 28/03/2009 by nicka77

Wonderful. Phenomenal. Incredible.


What a match. What a tournament. Thank God that final Welsh kick died and fell short….. 

Since 1948 the Irish rugby team have failed to regain the 5/6 Nations Grand Slam, and now they have done it again… i’m emotionally charged and i am but a youngster, in comparison to my dad, and my uncles, who have spent their entire lives waiting for this moment…. the champagne and guinness were flowing (not together) and there were even a few jaeger-bombs thrown in for good measure.

Check this out –











The highlight of the tournament for me was our family visit to Rome for the Italy v Ireland match – not a great game in itself but how fantastic that we were there in a Grand Slam year…. and after the heartache of being in Paris when the French beat us in the last minute in 2008. The agonies that have been endured makes this Grand Slam victory all the sweeter.

In reality though, the two toughest games were against England & Wales – both hard fought encounters that were won by an Irish team led by Brian O’Driscoll that knew they had one last chance to make history – one last chance to fulfil their potential.

Why Advertising Is Failing On The Internet

Posted in Advertising, Brand, Digital, Marketing, Social Media, Technology on 27/03/2009 by nicka77

Very interesting  – and controversial – post on about the bleak future of the advertising model.


Written by a fellow called Eric Clemons, who is Professor of Operations and Information Management at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His argument is focused on the seismic shift the internet has had, and is having, on both the traditional advertising model and the various possible future models, all of which he believe are unworkable.

Intriguing perspective – worth a read.

Prosthetic USB Finger

Posted in Culture, Digital, Innovation, Technology on 27/03/2009 by nicka77

Hilarious bit of innovation from a nutty Finnish chap  who lost his finger in an accident… one way not to lose those pesky USB sticks I guess… you never know, it might catch on.