Burson-Marsteller’s decision to launch a worldwide 24-hour
emergency service to deal with companies’ Y2K problems might well come
as something of a relief to its European clients.
To date, moves by a majority of European governments to deal with
potential problems created by the millennium bug and public fears about
the fallout have been marked, with the possible exceptions of France and
the UK, by a distinct lack of haste. Government campaigns have been
low-key, while the devolution of responsibility to large-scale Y2K
compliant private sector organisations has led to a dangerous
over-emphasis on those best equipped to weather the storm, with too
little focus on SMEs.
There has also been a dangerous lack of co-ordination of business and
public information campaigns - a major problem in an increasingly global
commercial economy - which creates a worrying, if timely, opportunity
for consultancies such as B-M to utilise its global networks and provide
a millennial crisis management system.