Publisher February 2011

Staying Ahead in a Slump

It will soon be a better time than ever to be a BCCJ Member. In the new categories and benefits effective from April, detailed on page 17, the ACUMEN contribution is reduced advertising rates and priority consideration for editorial content.

The regional head of a major UK manufacturer recently told me that he considers ACUMEN to be a very useful vehicle, not just to promote his products and brand, but also to attract ambitious prospective staff, both Japanese and foreigners. He receives a fair amount of positive feedback from our readers to his firm’s highprofile adverts and editorial on product launches, advocacy and events.

Media coverage can’t be doing his career any harm either, as bosses look for hard evidence of what he’s achieved to raise the firm’s profile and profits.

There are other spinoffs, too. Advertising and editorial quickly influence attitudes and habits, creating jobs for designers, researchers and copywriters. By increasing sales, advertising cuts costs for firms and consumers alike.

A recent global survey found that firms advertising during hard times enjoy a distinct advantage over those that slash their ad budgets. More than 85% of executives who responded believed advertising during a down economy is vital. While rivals sit out the storm, they said, advertisers increased their market share—and kept it after the slump. It makes sense that the more familiar you are with a brand, the more likely you are to buy it.

This month we are pleased to include the sage comments of the new EU ambassador to Japan, Hans Dietmar Schweisgut. He assumed his position worryingly close to our printing deadline but, although he had barely got his feet under the table, as the first ambassador here under the new EU framework, Hans was extremely keen to get his message across. I was particularly pleased to hear that he hopes Europe will get more attention from Japan than it has until now. I am sure British business will help him there.

Finally, Custom Media recently announced its 2011 CSR Project. Refugees International Japan helps destitute victims of war and conflict without wasting resources on politics or superfluous third parties, the money it receives going directly to intended recipients. Our pro bono efforts are tiny compared to those of the many volunteers and leaders in this field but, by rebranding, designing and editing their marketing collateral, we hope our bit helps.