Monday, December 08, 2008

How much longer for CMP Asia?

Like every business media company, they have their hands full right now with slowing markets, Indian terrorism, Thai politics, etc. etc. and it's hard to imagine the team at CMP Asia are too focused on corporate branding. However, as we did back in July, we do wonder how much longer parent company United Business Media will hang on to the CMP Asia identity.

At the FIPP/ABM B2B conference in New York in September, CEO David Levin told me that he didn't anticipate any immediate need for the Asian business to follow its US and European counterparts which had been restructured into what he described as "tiger" and "lion" businesses, the optimum size for each of which was, he said, $70 - 100m, about half the size of CMP Asia. Surely, an Asian dragon structure is the logical conclusion of all this.

I remain unconvinced by denials that this is being considered, particularly in light of today's news that the Commonwealth Business Media brand is also to fade into a UBM corporate identity. It'll be a bit harder to come up with a small number of logical market groups for Asia: jewellery and the rest? China and the rest? Jewellery, furniture, and the rest, etc. etc. But I'd be willing to bet a modest bet (take me on for a Blackberry Bold anybody?) that there will have been news on this before the middle of '09.

P.S. CMP Asia senior management are excluded from taking me up on my bet because i) you already have Blackberry Bolds and ii) you have an unfair advantage over me in having an inside track on this information!


Anonymous said...

Paul, I wanted to say 2nd quarter of 2009. But it is close to the middle of the year. So will I get the Blackberry Bold?

Paul Woodward said...

Or, will I? :-) 31st June is my cut-off...if it's still called CMP Asia and still all one company, I pay out one Blackberry Bold. If it changes before then, I collect. My old Blackberry is looking quite battered these days...Ha ha.

Stephen Yeo said...

I happen to think CMP Asia will hold out for another year, but that's probably as far as it can go. Given the dire market conditions, UBM is unlikely to rock its own boat further by obliterating the CMP Asia brand, which impacts some of its partners as well.

I believe UBM will do this gradually, all the while keeping its fingers crossed that the situation will recover before it is forced to exercise this option.

Can I have an iPhone (unlocked, of course) instead of the CrackBerry?