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2007 was better than predicted. The maxi-quadrennial events of 2008 – in sport and politics – will strengthen this year, allowing for the effects of the credit crunch and the housing slump in the US. With the American presidential elections over and fewer big sporting dates, 2009 is expected to be softer, with a slowdown in the US and slower growth in China.

A number of immediate issues bring opportunities as well as threats. They include government spending on both sides of the Atlantic, consolidation among clients, media owners, retail and agencies, increasing trade and price promotion, fees, procurement and outsourcing, media fragmentation and super-agencies.

In the longer term, the new true globalisation and the growth of Asia Pacific, new organisational structures, overcapacity and the shortage of human capital, the web, the demand for internal communications, retail concentration and global corporate citizenship should together underline and assure the importance of our industry and its constituent parts, advertising and marketing services.