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Thursday, November 13, 2008

B2b and the dangerous dogs

In a very short period of time, Haymarket (today) CMP, Incisive and others have announced job cuts. Haymarket are also introducing a pay freeze and cutting company car expenditure. A couple of magazines are being closed and in a panic converted to online only brands.

You won't find this blog criticising companies in b2b for taking decisive action but the lesson for the next downturn is that it would be have been better to do this earlier. It is almost as if they have been surprised by the downturn. Now, I know the banking crisis has made things worse, but surely those who run b2b have seen this coming for a while. I know some of them read this blog so they can't say they weren't warned.

The problem with taking decisive action in a crisis is you tend to make a hash of it. Just the same as government politicians do when there is public hullabaloo. Remember the dangerous dogs act? How much better to have a road map for dealing with the systemic changes in our industry and for managing our way out of a decline that began at least eight years ago. Dangerous dogs could have been dealt with before the media circus got hold of the issue and a better act would have followed. Instead politicians only deal with issues of the day, not issues of strategy. We deal with the shambles of Haringey social services, not when it becomes a shambles but when a child dies.

Anyway we must be grateful that b2b media companies aren't run by retired political folk who would make that kind of mistake. Oh. I see.

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