Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Ad Giant Omnicom: Stimulus Spending Could Boost Media by End of the Year

craterAd giant Omnicom reported that its revenue dropped 14 percent and profits declined by 21 percent in the last quarter, but investors are bidding up the stock in a down market. Omnicom (OMC) shares are up more than four percent today.

That’s presumably because the profit slump isn’t as bad as Wall Street expected. But maybe investors are buying some of the optimism CEO John Wren doled out–sparingly–during the company’s earnings call.

Not only was he hopeful that the “pace of economic decline [will find] a bottom,” he said, but he was hopeful that things could actually start picking up in the media business by the fourth quarter when “massive stimulus spending by most governments should start to have a positive impact.”

See, Bob Pittman? You’re going to get your ad industry bailout after all!

Speaking as an ad-supported media employee, I’d be overjoyed if Wren is correct. But the informal poll I’ve been taking of publishers–on and offline–for the past couple weeks has me thinking that’s he’s probably early. But it sure would be awesome if I didn’t have to run this crater art for much longer.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work