Cross-media catches fire

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When it comes to cross-media ad packages, all sides agree the world is changing.

A total of 55.5% of ad buyers and 70.7% of sellers said, in an Advertising Age survey, that they buy or sell cross-media ad packages, and another 50.3% of remaining buyers and 47 .5% of remaining sellers will do so within approximately one year.


While pricing's primary importance was cited by 20.3% of buyers vs. 12.7%, of sellers, results show more nuance when respondents reacted to several possible benefits. Rate reductions were the No. 2 concern of media buyers; whereas they were No. 8 or No. 9 for sellers, depending on how the question was framed. The appeal of "delivering an integrated marketing message across multiple platforms" was a runaway No. 1 for both groups.

Even companies that have a person coordinating cross-media packages feel the newness of the terrain. "There's a lot of confusion" over how to handle such buys, says Karen Jacobs, who, as senior VP-media director at Starcom USA, Chicago, is charged with internally coordinating them. "If you draw a little bell curve, we're at the beginning -- all of us."

Survey respondents felt that sellers were better positioned to puzzle it all out; 59.1% said that media sellers were better organized to facilitate cross-media packages.


Hachette Filipacchi Magazines, for one, has made moves to broaden sales efforts across different media. Last month the company rolled out an expanded version of, and bought RTM Productions, a TV studio that produces the "Car & Driver" cable show.

"You're trying to reach a consumer that may not be a reader of the magazine through the power of your brand," says Hachette exec Nick Matarazzo.

Reflecting the change at Hachette, Mr. Matarazzo's title recently morphed from senior VP-corporate sales to senior VP-integrated sales and marketing.

So far successes on the cross-media packages seem freighted to the sell side. While 55.8% of all respondents said they have had "outstanding successes" with them, there was a dissonance between buyers and sellers, as only 46.9% of buyers said yes to the question while 68.5% of the sellers said yes. Among clients, only 38.8% answered affirmatively.

"You have to think of your equities, and how you can use them," says Alex Mironovich, president of Playboy Enterprise's publishing division.


The executive mentions a promotion with longtime Playboy advertiser, Seagram Co.'s Cap'n Morgan, in which the rum brand's Captain announced his presidential candidacy at a press conference at the Playboy mansion, naming a former Playmate as his "rumming" mate. In this promotion, Mr. Mironovich says, Playboy netted incremental advertising across its online operations, which the beverage marketer had never used before.

Methodology for study:

Cross-media advertising packages are integrated advertising programs that encompass more than one media platform. A survey commissioned by Advertising Age by New York-based researcher Erdos & Morgan was inserted in about 55,000 copies of the Aug. 14 issue of Advertising Age sent to marketer, media and agency subscribers. Simultaneously, responses were collected online. By the survey closing date of Sept. 8, a total of 686 completed surveys were received. All 686 surveys were used to produce the results in this survey.

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