Ad Industry Starts To Rebound

The advertising industry had a terrible year in 2001. In fact, the last time it was that bad was during the Depression. But, there is a some good news, most of those in the industry say things are starting to look up. Today, we spoke with some local folks in the ad business to see what they think.

Reed Guice runs an ad agency in Biloxi. Last year, at an international conference of ad execs, he heard some pretty discouraging words.

"At our meeting last year," says Guice, "I heard terms like really lousy, worst yet, a struggle to survive."

That was in all aspects of the advertising industry, from billboards, to newspaper and tv, and radio. Bobby Edwards has been in sales for WLOX TV, for 20 years, he says," Last year was a pretty tough year, everybody had to work harder and smarter."

Edwards says everybody in sales, is still working harder and smarter.

But now, he and others are encouraged, as there are signs the economy is starting to come out of its slump.

Reggie Bates manages two radio stations on the Coast, according to Bates, "Our particular stations are hitting their budgets for the first quarter, so things are looking up, things are looking better."

Depending on what national expert you talk to, some see an upturn this year, others says advertisers will still be slow to spend.

Godwin Guice's Reed Guice sees advertisers coming back into the marketplace, but in a different way than before. He says their marketing plans are now much more focused on the short term, not so much the long term. Although he admits that may change.

What the coming weeks and months holds is anyones guess, but hopefully, what has been a down cycle, will keep heading upward, slow and steady.

By Jeff Lawson