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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Consumers recognize value of advertising
Article Type: Competitive horizon From: Strategic Direction, Volume 25, Issue 11
The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) commissioned a survey and discovered that almost three quarters of consumers recognize the importance of advertising to economic growth. Findings showed broad agreement among consumers in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East that advertising brings economic benefits. The survey, as published by All Africa (www.allafrica.com), was conducted in 50 nations and 68 percent of respondents indicated a belief that advertising stimulates competition that improves product quality and lowers price. Eighty percent also feel that advertising helps job creation, while a significant majority of consumers are aware of the key role advertising and sponsorship perform in relation to exhibitions, and sporting and cultural events. Conversely, some geographical differences in consumer attitudes were also evident. For example, while at least 70 percent of consumers in most continents felt that advertising improved their decision-making, Europeans were less convinced. Advertising was also regarded as entertaining by fewer consumers in this region than elsewhere. Part of the reason for the survey was to emphasize the worth of advertising to policy makers considering the introduction of new restrictions on advertising practice.
Wind power increases in USA
Increased investment every year since 2006 has seen the United States emerge as the largest user of wind power in the world. A report published by the San Jose Mercury News (www.mercurynews.com) reveals that the USA has replaced Germany as leader, with Spain, China and India completing the top five. Since the 1980s, the country has invested almost $45 billion in wind energy that now accounts for roughly 2 percent of electricity generated. Much of the nation is experiencing growth in this technology, with Texas and California leading the way. The report also points out that the growth is helping to stimulate investment in manufacturing and create new jobs. Both foreign and domestic wind turbine producers have announced plans to either open new plants or increase capacity within existing ones. While wind power will continue as a central part of cleaner energy goals, the difficult economic climate means that lower investment is expected throughout 2009.
Firms urged to erase data properly
According to a report published by Growth Business (www.growthbusiness.co.uk), many companies fail to take efficient measures when disposing of old hardware. With firms looking to restructure to survive the current tough economic climate, more hardware is being discarded as a result. The report claims that this has led to a significant amount of sensitive information being retrieved from used hardware that is later purchased online. Despite the widespread use of computers, PDAs and MP3 players to store data, companies often remain unaware of the exact nature of the information contained on these devices. A misconception also prevails among some that taking appropriate action is not cost effective. Such companies instead opt to merely delete data or reformat the storage drive before disposing of the hardware. However, information can still easily be retrieved and firms are advised to use more sophisticated data-erasure programs to avoid the potentially damaging consequences of sensitive information being leaked. They should also shred CD-ROMS and DVDs and totally overwrite tapes. Hardware that is not intended for recycle needs to be physically damaged to prevent its future use.
Two more years of struggle anticipated by retailers
Leading retailers around the globe fear that business struggles may continue for the next two years, a survey conducted by AlixPartners reveals. The business advisory firm interviewed executives from retailers operating across the world’s major economies and found many planning to significantly restructure their companies in response to the current economic downturn. Closing stores and distribution centers, cutting staff levels and reducing product ranges were among the planned measures. The survey, as published by the Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk), likewise discovered evidence of poor financial management and a common failure to communicate frequently enough with credit insurers. AlixPartners note the seriousness of these failings and warn that severe liquidity problems can quickly arise as a result.