The last time I wrote this blog, I still thought we might win the Ashes

God, it’s a long time ago.  10th July – a month to the day.  Feels like another world:  the early summer, everyone still hoping for the “barbecue” weather the forecasters promised us, two days into the first Test and still everything to play for, the football season still an age away and me, of course, still 24 hours away from embarking on my usual and longingly-anticipated 3-week summer holiday.

Happy days.  Apart from the imminence of the football season, the position a month later is almost entirely worse:  barbecues half-full of rainwater, the Ashes series still technically un-lost at 1-1 but all the momentum with our friends from down under, and my holiday a fading memory.

And amongst all this, what’s been happening in the world of financial services marketing, branding and advertising?  Er, well, not much, or not that I’ve noticed.  One rather depressing point is that one of the few areas to have held up fairly well so far – the area of IFA trade press advertising – has collapsed, at least for the time being:  surely there must be some recovery when everyone goes back to school in September, but for the time being the weekly trade papers are emaciated to a life-threatening extent.  On the upside, there are still insane quantities of advertising on television from direct insurance providers, and perhaps most of all from price comparison sites;  and in the business insurance market my friends at Brit Insurance are continuing the creeping expansion of their involvement in cricket sponsorship, a brave and quite costly journey which deserves to be rewarded with a share in the success of a jubilant England team at the Oval in a week or two (but you’ll probably have noticed that in this world we don’t always get what we deserve…)   

But all in all, I’m quite glad that I haven’t had to try to find things to write about over the last few weeks – and, to be honest, a little concerned to think of the kind of barrel-scrapings that may be necessary over the next few.   Don’t be too surprised if there isn’t a whole lot happening here till, well, maybe another month from now:  apart from the last act of the Ashes at the Oval, and the first few outings for the 2009/10 incarnation of the mighty Spurs, I’m not sure I’m going to have blog topics coming out of my ears.

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