Friday, September 05, 2008

Avoiding PIGS

I'm now in New York where I shall be attending next week's FIPP/ABM B2B industry meeting which is usually very worthwhile.

A couple of things catching my eye here: firstly, the news that Alibaba Group is merging it's online advertising business Alimama with its eBay killing auction site Taobao is intriguing. On the surface, there's not much to link those two other than the fact that they both fall outside the listed B2B business. Is another IPO in the making? That would be one explanation.

Then, I noticed an interesting piece on ExpoWeb about a new research study undertaken by my old friend Denzil Rankine of AMR for the boutique investment bank DeSilve + Philips. The piece reports on a panel which discussed AMR's research at the bank's recent conference in New York. The research proposes (and I agree) that events are likely to be much more resilient in these currently-straitened economic times than other forms of media. They also predict that M&A will hold up in this sector which must be a great relief to them all.

What really caught my eye, though, was a remark attributed to Richard Kerr, head of group development for CMP's parent, United Business Media plc. "UBM's Kerr", Expoweb says, "outlined conditions in the Middle East, India and China, and added that he avoids “the PIGS—Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain.” I think he should be careful about what's been added to his soup if he decides to dine in any Portuguese, Italian, Greek or Spanish restaurants in the near future.

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