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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South African-born Dieter trained as industrial engineer before holding down a variety of senior motor industry marketing and manufacturing positions. At the age of 40 he decided to follow his passion, and became the first and only South African journalist to cover Formula 1 regularly. Dieter joined AtlasF1 at the beginning of 2004 – a year prior to its merger with Autosport – and his regular column offers an intriguing analysis of F1’s politicking and commercial chicanery. Although now also proudly Belgian, he gives his domicile as "Wherever F1 duplicity lurks".@RacingLines More features by Dieter Rencken