Imagine being CEO of a multi-billion-dollar purveyor of products - automobiles, burgers, widgets, whatever - active in 200 territories, yet the company has absolutely no need for a coordinated marketing department. That's because its suppliers (and their suppliers and partners) underwrite high-profile campaigns across the globe.
So the company accounts contain but four basic line items - sales (income); cost of sales (disbursements); operating costs and personnel - while enjoying the complementary services of third-party marketing campaigns. It's a commercial dream that must surely facilitate annual gross profits of 30 per cent or more.
Now imagine a sea-change shift of policies at supplier level, with primary partners being prohibited by law from advertising in most civilised countries, while regulatory changes effectively reduce competition at second-tier supplier level, further reducing ad spend by tens of millions per annum. Effect: a total marketing blackout.
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