EDITORIAL: Survey strengthens advertising's hand

The results of a survey by Euro RSCG Worldwide into the changing fortunes of eight leading European brands offers worrying evidence that the stewardship of some of advertising's "crown jewels isn't what it should be.

Virgin, Philips and DaimlerChrysler are among the companies whose reputations are being eroded, according to research among 1,236 European consumers.

In DaimlerChrysler's case, the tumultuous events of the past two years led to more than 40 per cent of those questioned to conclude that the brand had weakened.

One obvious conclusion is that marketers still have a way to go in convincing the accountants that brands need constant underpinning and shouldn't be the first victim in a recession. Another is that companies and their brands have become almost synonymous. Brand strength is vital not just in selling product but in sustaining investor confidence and attracting the brightest talent. Great and consistent advertising can't do this alone, but its role is vital.

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