The cons have it


When it comes to consumer confidence, you don’t have to go very far to find bad news. Rasmussen Reports is the latest to discover the amazing fact that consumers are just a tad nervous these days. The pollster’s just-released Consumer Confidence Index for December 2008 is a record low of 59.6, down five points from the previous record low set just a month earlier in November. In fact, Rasmussen says that a new record low was posted in seven of the last 10 months.

Consumer confidence had been sitting in the low-to-mid 70s when the meltdown began in September, sapping the good mood from both consumers and investors.

It’s not like 2008 came in like a lion of anything. 38% of respondents told Rasmussen that the economy was in good or excellent shape last January. But the December response to that same question features a stark 30% drop to a mere 8%.

RBR/TVBR observation: As a reminder, broadcasters are thought to enjoy a huge advantage over other media during times of mass belt-tightening: no admission fee. Some experts predict that more and more consumers will cut off subscriptions and avoid buying tickets, and will turn to free over-the-air broadcasting as a major source of entertainment. If broadcasters can convince advertisers that they are where the action will be, they stand a great chance of being on the leading edge of the upcoming media rebound.