For 2009, here are my predictions:
The economy and strife, regulation and surveillance will dominate the agenda, with the burden of paying for everything from wars to bailouts right in the crosshairs: watch those advertising budgets boys and girls, the taxman cometh.
Privacy and advertising, long separated by passive print, television and radio, will continue to collide—Congress will either pass ineffective and inappropriate legislation because it’s too busy to pay attention, or will defer legislation another year because it’s too busy to pay attention.
Wireless and mobile technology will continue to make us say “wow” and will continue to miniaturize our lives, putting not just communication, but also our wallets, calendars, purchasing, entertainment and working tool kits in our hands, not our laps.
The use of wireless and additional licenses, spectrum and bandwidth will bring the FCC and the FTC colliding in their zeal to regulate, and they will either cooperate because they are too busy to fight or fight because they are too busy to cooperate. In either case, regulation, re-regulation and self-regulation will continue to increase, unregulated.
Marketing, promotions, new media, digital content and distribution platforms will transform gaming and interactive play into entertainment, education and information—giving us more choices, but continuing to blur the lines between advertising, entertainment and information.
Virtual worlds and gaming will push the limits of intellectual property and other laws—some to absurdity—and others that affect real people and real interests.
Social networking will go mobile in a robust way and concerns over privacy, behavioral marketing and viral promotions will transform multitasking into multimasking, where individuals may have multiple persona or profiles for different purposes—much like some businesses did with their finances.
Difficult economies breed aggressive and often challenging initiatives—technology will continue to afford cost-efficiencies (in some cases even automating a lousy process can save money); marketing and promotions will become increasingly aggressive on the web and through SMS—it’s less expensive; competitors will scrap for a greater share of a shrinking wallet—look for competitors and regulators to be watching you carefully and initiating actions a lot quicker; recession marketing to those looking for a greater share of voice (and who can afford it) will create opportunities to build brands; and
The Advertising Technology & Media Law (ATM) practice at Rimon will remain the premiere legal group with crossdisciplinary, cross-border, integrated capabilities and experience here, there and everywhere in the digital convergent arena. Forget what you did last summer—we know what you are planning to do next summer. Call us or email me to find out.