Advertising Age reviews a year of almost unprecedented bust. The recession wasn't formally called until well after the terrorist attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. But the threads were unraveling long before Sept. 11. Ad Age began 2001 by reporting how the ad industry was "bracing for life after an unprecedented boom," noting "ominous signs" of possible recession ("The Party's Over," Jan. 1). At midyear, Ad Age pronounced "2001 is a bust" ("Write It Off," July 2). Then things got worse.
The year's positives were accompanied by large negatives: News media, for example, tirelessly covered the terrorist attacks ... and in the process gave up $700 million in ad spending; Interpublic Group of Cos. and True North Communications combined to form the world's largest agency holding company ... and lost a half-billion dollars in billings due to account conflicts.
The year was 2001. Don't look back.