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December 5, 2000
World Trade Organization Reports Huge Growth In International Commerce
High demand in North America and Asia helped increase the goods traded among the countries of the world by a whopping 14% in the first nine months of 2000. That should produce at least 10% growth over the whole years, which is double last year's 5% overall growth in the value of merchandise traded (bought and sold) last year.
The report shows that Western Europe and Latin America are picking up speed and joining the U.S. and Asia as major engines of economic growth. So, while the U.S. is still a locomotive force, it's no longer alone.
Western Europe, however, is being affected by the strength of the dollar against the euro. In dollar terms, the region's exports grew by 3.5% but in euros they grew by 18%. Imports were up 6% in dollars, but 21% in euros.
Detailed figures for last year showed that international trade in goods was worth $5.47 trillion. More than half of all expansion in 1999 was due to the increase in imports and exports in the United States... imports accounted for 18.5% of the world total, a "historically unprecedented level."
Editor's Note: Approximately 15% of the $5.47 trillion in international trade is done on a non-cash, or countertrade basis.
The Biggest Parasite of the Dot.Com Industry
Upside magazine claims that advertising agencies must share the blame for the outbreak of dot.com malaria, because of the obscene amount of money which was wastefully spent on TV awareness for very little effect...instead of devising ad and marketing programs that would have direct impact on generating needed sales.
The basic question is: Did the agencies really do their best, or just show up and collect the money? Upside contends that too many of the agencies took the easiest and most profitable way out, and that's where the problem lies.
To place $10 million worth of ads on TV, versus print, takes about 50% to 66% less personnel cost. TV chews up million-dollar chunks pretty quickly, but the low costs of personnel for TV advertising are often compelling to agency management. People-costs drive agencies; 50% savings are huge.
The second issue is production costs. Agencies make money producing TV spots. There's a flat fee on production, plus any hidden profits they make on the actual shoot. Third, agencies get their big visibility from TV commercials, not from direct-mail campaigns.
Inasmuch as advertising's most basic goal is to increase sales, according to Ziff-Davis analyst and VP Aaron Goldberg, the dot.coms should start demanding some accountability.
Dot.Coms Resort To Mail This Holiday Season
The dot.com e-tailers have made adjustment for this year's holidays by dropping their canned, expensive television advertising campaigns from last year.
Instead they're grabbing consumer's attention by sending out a flood of catalogs across the country. And about half of their catalogs even let consumers bypass the web altogether with a 1-800 number for orders!
This is the third e-Christmas...with companies and conditions continuing to evolve. The message now, according to more and more people who follow the dot.com e-tailers evolution, is that most web retailers cannot survive in cyberspace alone.
Here And There. . .
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