ESOMAR Congress 2009: brands and consumers in the downturn

James Aitchison

Welcome to recession - and recovery?

The opening day of Congress 2009 has been dominated by the major theme of our times: recession. It was not overt in the welcoming address by Gunilla Broadbent, ESOMAR President, but certainly lurking.

That market research grew 4% in 2008 to a global value of $32bn is good news, although the really bad news surrounding the world economy didn't break until late in the third quarter of the year. It would be interesting to see figures from then until now.

And, spending aside, two of the trends she identified that recession has spawned within the industry bring complications of their own.

First, the demand from clients for innovation and change - with a more holistic methodological mix of older tools and new - might on the face of sound refreshingly progressive.