Here's my summary of interesting things I read or seen recently:
1) With Recessions Like This, Who Needs a Recovery? Freakonomics
The rich and well-to-do are having some trouble adapting to the recession and its insistence on adopting a frugal outlook. As Stephen Dubner reports, Vogue just came out with “inspired ideas ...all in tune with environment- and recession-minded resolutions.” The list includes a sewing kit, price tag $975.
2) Who killed the Yummy Mummy? The Daily Beast
Along the same lines, Molly Jong-Fast reports that the superrich in NYC are also having to adapt to the new economy and how it frowns on the vulgar display of wealth. As she says: "There will still be ladies Botoxing, and Dr. Mel Practice will still lovingly break your nose and make you look like Michael Jackson, but the culture of waste, of bragging, of bragging about waste, is slowly being replaced by a culture of sheepishness and shame."
3) America's Biggest Billionaire Losers Of 2008: Forbes
#1 on the list is casino mogul Sheldon Adelson who was down $24 billion in 2008. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are also on the list. In a related article, the WSJ's Wealth Report talks about the respect you can get by being a FRIP (Formerly Rich Person)
4) Talk is cheap: Consumed
Rob Walker cautions us not to believe that the recent reduction of spending signals a radical change in consumption mentality from: "vacuous shopping-bots" to "virtuously sober citizens" overnight. He points out we've been here before. Who said: "We’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning"? Jimmy Carter in 1979, that's who.
5) Advertising on the Edge: The Economist
With clear vested interest, The Economist lays out the reasons to keep on spending money on ads during the recession. Well presented though. (via brandflakesforbreakfast)
Porn titans Larry Flynt and Joe Francis want some federal help. They sent a joint request to Congress asking for
That's it. See you next week for more stories from the world of brand strategy.