I received an email this morning from a very large US media and entertainment company. Here is a part of what it said. "Unfortunately the recent economic downturn has left us in a position where we are unable to further pursue any advertising agreement for the upcoming holiday season. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused. It is our intention to re-visit this advertising program next year and, conditions permitting, hope to be working with you and your site."*
Obviously, I'm disappointed that I won't be receiving the benefits of having that advertiser come on board, but it's the broader view that disturbs me more. How many more companies are pulling back on their advertising? How many more publishers are feeling the pinch from losing their advertising partners? How will this affect us all in the long term?
I don't know the answers to those questions, but of course, I'm not crazy about the possible negative outcomes. Still, I wonder if perhaps we might see some positives from it all? Will we adapt (as we do so well) and find new ways of supporting our businesses? Will we change our revenue models, or even begin to use bartering instead of exchanging cash? I was twittering about bartering yesterday, before I received that email, so the timing is interesting. I'm feeling the squeeze of this economic downturn already, and I assume at least some of the people I interact with are feeling it as well. If nothing else, we all face the high grocery prices, and the still high gas prices (although thankfully, it has come down a little, it's still very high). That squeeze got me thinking about getting together with a lot of you to barter our services. It was just a quick thought at the time, but now, after receiving that email, I'm wondering if maybe I shouldn't pursue it even more.
So my questions to you:
- If you advertise online, are you cutting back on your spend?
- If you are a publisher, are you seeing reduced interest in advertising on your sites?
- In general, are you seeing a downturn in revenue from your sites' goods and services?
- Do you have any ideas on how we can all ride it through?
- Would you be interested in bartering as one idea?
I'm interested in discussing this, so please comment if you have some thoughts on it. Thanks.
* Note: The site referred to in the email is not this one, for the record.