I’ve been working on this post for more than a week. I’m beginning to suffer from the writer’s version of Stockholm syndrome—I’ve been taken hostage by my own ideas and I’m starting to identify with them even when they’re bad. So I’m going to abandon the notion of explaining everything to everybody and just try to make my main point. In case it’s gets lost, by the way, my main point is that traditional media need to get their heads out of their hidebound histories and redefine what advertising is. (You heard me: redefine advertising, not journalism.)
We recently invested a few moments reflecting soberly on a small table of data in The eMarketer Daily from December 3rd. All of us at post-advertising h.q. invite you to do the same (and not just because the numbers support what we’ve been saying for a while). The table shows US advertising spending from 2006 through 2010, broken down by major categories of (known) media. The headline is that traditional, ad-supported media are falling to pieces while non-traditional, content-driven marketing is on the rise. But the sub-head is even more interesting: overall ad spending is stagnating and, we maintain, beginning to fall. That’s something we have long predicted as a consequence of the post-advertising age. Now it appears to be happening.