Global consumer-insights unit Crystal has been launched by Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide in New York and London. As its name implies, Crystal aims to detect and track upcoming consumer trends

Housed within O&M's planning operation, Crystal's ball has already noted the emergence of consumer movements as VIP culture, which creates products that convey the allure of exclusivity but are widely available.

And, believes Richard Welch, Crystal's New York-based co-managing director, fetishism will be the next fad to hit the cultural mainstream. "We've been tracking fetishism for a while now. It has been a major manifestation of changing attitudes toward sex. You see it in fashion. For example, you have John Galliano sending out rubber in collections for Christian Dior."

On the other side of the pond, Welch's London counterpart Zoe Lazarus is equally concerned with other European trends such as the influence of Jamaican music. This, apparently, "isn't just about the music, it's about perceived Jamaican values associated with the musical heritage".

Crystal is in process of setting-up a network of some two hundred opinion formers across the world, ranging from graphic designers, fashion designers to filmmakers and DJs. It also plans to categorize cities into A, B and C lists, according to the extent of their influence on other parts of the globe.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff