Sunday 14 June 2009

Shrinking Before Our Eyes

So, today our Thomson Local directory for 2009-10 drops onto the mat. Comparing with last year's edition (covering the same geographical area):

- Total number of companies listed: virtually unchanged
- Total ads, by page-area: down 29.9%

There is obviously a lag-effect going on here - and possibly some bravado, as Thomson carries on listing companies it hasn't heard from for a while, to keep spirits up. But it is surely only a matter of time before the collapse in advertising translates into a fall in the number of firms with a pulse.


photo (c) N Drew 2009


Tuscan Tony said...

Excellent economic indicator - very astute of you ND! Doubtless Terry Wogan's Scottish forests will have plunged in value too as a result.

dearieme said...

An article in yesterday's Telegraph said that Freshfields was laying off trainee solicitors with a fare-thee-well bung of £700.

Anonymous said...

"An article in yesterday's Telegraph said that Freshfields was laying off trainee solicitors with a fare-thee-well bung of £700."


There was a story on Bloomberg the other week that City law firms are also outsourcing to India and disposing of London staff.

It has been my belief for a long time that given the number of lawyers in government, it will only be when their own kind suffer will there be any chance for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

There will be millions of unemployed new graduates reneging on their student loans very soon...

dearieme said...

Yeah, the prospect of the student loan as negative dowry will presumably finally kill off the wedded state.

idle said...

If it carries on like that you'll be able to tear the directory in half, Nick. Imagine the swooning Croydon totty.

Are they all like Kate Moss?

Steven_L said...

Nick, forgive me for asking, but did you seriously count the number of ads in the telephone directory?

It's 2:49am and I really need to get back to sleep after a sunny afternoon on the rose but even I wouldn't go as far as counting the ads in the telephone directory!

Nick Drew said...

anon - laying off trainee solicitors ... good

ask not for whom the bell tolls, matey

Mutt, dearieme - the whole student loans phenomenon is very pregnant & we are in uncharted territory

Idle - surely you know how to do that old trick ? Works every time (And all the local lasses still seem to be able to afford their Croydon facelifts, I'm pleased to report)

Steven - errr, no ! have another look at the post: Total ads, by page-area - and 'counting' the number of listed co's is by page aussi

Richard Boyd said...

The other factor is that many businesses have recognised that printed directories offer a poor ROI and are not taking advertising space.

These directories are trying to hold their prices but will eventually cave in.

ex-office manager said...

One of the biggest scams I ever came across during my long working life was the unannounced arrival of a letter from Germany stating that my outfit had been/will be included in the next edition of their directory. Pinned to the letter was an official looking invoice for a few hundred pounds. Since we had not requested such an entry we just chucked it all in the bin, but I imagine that a lot of junior or inexperienced accounts clerks would simply have written out the cheque and sent it off. Naturally the directory was non-existent.

Bill Quango MP said...

EX-office manager

An old scam used to be to find a retail chain and phone to ask if they needed any stationary.
The company was called 'head office supplies' or 'central stores' or some such.
The hapless manager or assistant would order stuff and a big bill would arrive, followed by court action if it wasn't paid. All the stationary was specially printed with the shops name to make it non returnable.

There is also a popular scam in the USA where parents are sent a directory saying their children have achieved grades good enough to be included... for a fee.

eda said...