What a big year 2002 turned out to be. A lot of things happened that will affect our lives for a long time to come.

Economy and War

Ad revenue bounced back in the third quarter just as we predicted a year ago. Not a big deal to call that one, considering how depressed we all were then, and the assurance of political ads.

More than anything else the economy's slow renovation will dominate much of ‘03.

The war against what Thomas Friedman of the New York Times called the super-empowered angry young (Islamic fundamentalist) man. In fact, this war will bog down the economy for much of the next decade.

It will also spawn the biggest youth movement since the '60s (but that's still a few years away). War with Iraq is not a foregone conclusion, but it is likely. And should it come, it simply won't be as easy to end as it was 12 years ago.

A war will send "consumer confidence" into the ditch. But as all wars do, it will help many sectors of our bruised economy, especially entertainment.

During the first quarter you'll read (if you haven't already) how we might be like Japan: In big trouble for a long time. Entrepreneurs, despite Washington's best efforts against them, will be the new heroes as we pull ourselves out of a very shallow second dip.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Barnes is CEO of Mediathink (www.mediathink.com), a consultancy specializing in media and marketing strategy and implementation. Contact him at tom@mediathink.com.