We operate in difficult times. This is not exactly news. I’ve tired of writing the obvious, but GCI magazine is a publication that is, at its heart, about business—your business, your competitors’ business, and businesses outside and unrelated to the industry but that impact us all. I only bring up this subject, again and at this time, because as we went to press in May with a cover story that included a highlight of Beiersdorf’s relative success as so many other companies reported only bleak news, we received a news release in which the company announced a decline in its first quarter 2009 earnings. It was by no means completely dire news, Beiersdorf still forecasts modest growth for the year, but the speed with which so many things change today and the far-ranging effect is startling.
What does that mean for our industry? It means diligence, looking forward and considering the implications of the decisions we make. I’m confident about our prospects and already see signs of a loosening of the straits with which the industry’s been bound. I cannot whitewash reality and must continue to report both ups and downs, but I will strive to highlight the positive—for it is in these opportunities that we must mine our future success.