Today's edition of The National carries the stunning headline, 'Property Adspend Plunges'.
We all love a downturn story, right? But when you pass filler ads crying out for you to call the outdoor company as you drive down the Sheikh Zayed Road and spot gigantic billboards on the way up to Mirdif begging you to 'advertise here', you can maybe get the inkling that we may be onto a trend here.
Gulf News (700g) is down to almost half its 2008 pagination, while the (700g) refers to its weight today compared to the 1.3kg weight of GN and its regular advertising supplements in November last year. Al Nisr's 'Property Weekly' is down from a December 2008 156 pages and a 54% ad/ed ratio to 84 pages and a 41% ad/ed ratio. They're pulling in something like 49 pages less a week in advertising. And December was weak for the magazine, which was pushing higher paginations earlier in the year.
And you need a bloke from PARC to tell you that property advertising's on the way down? Do me a lemon, guv!
“Before, papers were more than 120 pages, with a lot of advertising, but now all of this is reduced,” PARC's Mr Jichi told The National's Keach Hagey, throwing caution to the winds and baring his soul in a mad, confessional moment.
Memories of 2008. The sound of air being sucked through teeth and quiet, confident laughter: "SZR circuit, mate? You alright to wait for six months? That's for the premium payers, like. If you want standard rate it could be a year or more. Of course, if you were feeling generous, if you know what I mean, we could maybe get it down to five months and a bit, you know?"
Today's Gulf News carries a supplement for the Abu Dhabi Real Estate and Investment Show, which will run from the 27-29 Jan at the Abu Dhabi NEC. It's all of 16 pages. Listening to real estate people talking up the market for the next three days is going to be interesting.