Have your say, share your thoughts on this article written by Greg Taylor, Director of Brand Provocation at Elmwood, London

General strikes are taking place in Portugal with anti-fascist and Carnation Revolution chants outside the National Assembly. In the UK, unemployment is now at 2.62 million, a 17-year high. And because there is not enough cash in the Eurozone bailout fund, fear persists that the Italian debt crisis on top of that of Greece, Portugal and Ireland could sink the Euro. All this has led us to the rather shocking statement from the IMF’s head, Christine Lagarde, that we’re moving towards a ‘lost decade’, not just in Europe but globally.  Her optimistic call to action is for us to act boldly, and together. It seems we cannot carry on as before. We need a new way of doing things, a new currency for a new society.

We welcome your comments on the article written by Cheryl Swanson, Principal at Toniq, USA
Time magazine recently reported on “The Lipstick Index” (Time, Special Money Issue, October 10, 2011). Lipstick sales have long been an economic indicator; when the economy is down, lipstick sales have traditionally gone up. Women would rather spend on little luxuries when purse strings are tighter and the economy is uncertain— and lipstick has been that one affordable luxury that makes a women feel pampered and more confident. Afterall, when you feel beautiful, you are more likely to be optimistic. According to Time magazine, lipstick sales are up 14% in 2011. But what’s more interesting is that nail polish is up 54%. Nail polish is evidently becoming the new US economic index. So if nail polish is the new lipstick, what other new indicators are we seeing in this recessionary economy?

We welcome your comments on the article written by Cheryl Swanson, Principal at Toniq, USA

Turn on the TV, look at the front-page of a newspaper, or go to your local mall and it is obvious that we are not recovering from the recession as quickly as some economists had predicted. We still have some of the highest unemployment rates in history (9.1% for Sept 2011 according to the US Labor Department), an ongoing protest against government greed called Occupy Wall Street that is quickly becoming the global campaign Occupy Together, and retailers worried about holiday sales at all levels with major companies bringing back lay-a-way programs. These are really alarming signs entering into an election year. And this is just the general observation.

Each century and each decade has its own food trends, which arise from changes in the modern culture and influence the culture simultaneously. So, culinary can be named one of the most powerful tools in shaping tomorrow’s attitudes and likes, and that’s why we need to know these tendencies. The international manufacturer of home appliances Electrolux has surveyed the world’s most influential food critics and chefs to reveal the top trends in the culinary world—as it turns out, now the hottest thing in this area is “a Scandinavian bistro style slow street food restaurant with Japanese influences focusing on local ingredients,” says the press release.

The continued advances in technology and its weave into our daily live through increasingly intuitive devices and applications are reshaping the brand communications industry. Advertising and brand communications companies are always on the lookout for new ways of interacting and engaging the consumer and are keen to be the first to market with innovative ways to communicate a message. The multitude of available and ever evolving apps, new technologies and social media channels, however, causes more and more disparate communication platforms. What does this mean for the communications industry? It means adopting an increased social media and technology intelligence is a must and it means it is continually transforming this industry in how it operates.