Report from Scottsdale iMedia Summit

STARCOM WANTS ONLINE INCLUDED IN UPFRONT BUYS

CEO Calls for More Use of Digital Ad Strategies

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AdAge.com) -- The media-buying divisions of Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Worldwide are broadening their upfront services this year to
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enable marketers to repurpose their TV advertising on the Internet, according to CEO Jack Klues.

Those remarks by a traditional media veteran to an audience of 500 online media buyers and sellers at the iMedia Summit here drew a thunderous applause.

'Powerful pathway'
Challenging his audience, Mr. Klues said, "You own the most powerful pathway to consumers that the industry has ever seen. Quantify it. Package your data. Give us a selling point we can't refuse.

"It's time for us to use online as a way to deliver television commercials for our clients," said the chief executive of the world's largest media-buying company.

Need for collaboration
Mr. Klues warned that traditional media strategists must work collaboratively with their online counterparts or risk being left behind as changes in the media landscape accelerate around them.

While conceding that many traditional and interactive media players consider the TV upfront a dinosaur, Mr. Klues noted that "it is the marketplace where a lot of money gets spent -- money that has not been usually available for online."

He pointed out that leading marketers were looking for more non-traditional approaches on the eve of what is expected to be the biggest upfront TV market in history. "Why are my clients sending me into that market instead of demanding that I put more of their media dollars into digital efforts? ... It's because by and large, our industries haven't collaborated on a common value proposition to give to our clients."

Return on investment
He said that outcome-focused research with credible measurements that help clients project a return on their investments has been lacking. Still, he acknowledged cross-media, as well as reach and frequency studies undertaken by the Internet Advertising Bureau and industry partners, have shown the benefits of adding online to the overall media mix.

"Offline arguably gets us more eyeballs," he said. "Online gets us more of the right eyeballs. Plus, more immediate and measurable results."

Backing up his comments, Mr. Klues cited intelligence Starcom derived from Web site traffic analysis for clients Nintendo and the U.S. Army, which rely heavily on online marketing programs.

"We learned that young people actually lend greater credence to information they get online than they do from offline sources," he said.

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