From his vantage point as CEO of The Nielsen Company David Calhoun sees both media ratings data and consumer buying data, so he has a pretty good read on where the US and world economies are going. As he reported on Q3 financial results for the company, Calhoun told analysts that while confidence in the economy is low, the underlying retail business is not so bad.
“I think everybody has in the back of their head the notion that there could be a real slowdown, if not a recession,” Calhoun noted when asked by an analyst what he’s seeing that causes marketers to be cautious. “There is nothing about the underlying retail trends – frankly, across both my Watch [media ratings] and Buy [consumer data] clients – that suggests that that’s going to happen,” he said.
“If there is a European calamity, or something along those lines,” he said, clients are discussing whether they need to be cautious, particularly for calendar year 2012, so they don’t get caught in a financial bind.
“It’s very different from the ’08 – ’09 timeframe,” Calhoun added, when the recession was a certainty.
RBR-TVBR observation: One good way to avoid the possibility of a double dip is for marketers to advertise heavily and give consumers lots of good reasons to shop for the holidays! Or is that just wishful thinking on our part?