picture-11GM reports $2.5 billion loss this quarter.

The Dow skids down 400 points for the second day in the row.

Hoo boy.

As the fiscal sky falls on the market, every agency faces disturbing cutbacks in client investments.  And so the market sinks lower.

Whether the plunging numbers spring from the very real mortgage crisis or the perceived dangers of a Democrat-controlled White House, Congress and Senate, the higher order issue is confidence.

Or rather, the severe lack of confidence.

Uncertainty drives selloffs, fear leads to cutbacks, doubt creates timidity.

The painful irony behind agencies paying for our clients’ lack of confidence is that our businesses run on confidence.

Agencies sell confidence, we make confidence.

Confidence that our ideas will payoff in increased sales.  Confidence that our insights and targets and media plans will speak compelling to the people who drive our clients’ businesses.  Confidence that our services merit the investment.

Now more than ever, we need to create and sell confidence.  That alone will determine our fate.  And not just the fate of ourselves and our clients, but for the entire economy.

One of the best lines in times like these used to be printed on the top of mayonnaise jars: “Keep Cool, Don’t Freeze.”


By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79


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