FEARS EASED ON Y&R RADIO PLAN

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SAN FRANCISCO-The future of radio is looking strong, and posting may not be as insidious an issue as expected, broadcasters heard at the Radio Advertising Bureau's board meeting.

"The advertising business is going to remain bullish on radio, at least through '97," said RAB President Gary Fries.

Mr. Fries and Les Goldberg, president of the Interep Radio Store, addressed posting at the RAB's National Marketing Committee meeting. Both also attended an April 26 task force meeting, held by Young & Rubicam, New York, to discuss the issue.

Y&R is spearheading a plan to make radio more accountable through post analysis of ad buys, but has encountered opposition from the industry. The meeting was the first of several to decide how to implement posting; the next is planned for mid-June.

Calling Y&R's effort a "project in motion," Mr. Fries said, "the radio industry has become very reactive. Statements were made without substantial information. Accountability is not the issue here."

The agency's primary concern is about guaranteed rotation of spots and not necessarily guarantees of audience deliveries and requirements of make-goods or cash rebates, Mr. Fries said.

A final decision has not yet been made, however. Some radio executives said Y&R appears to be backpedaling in the face of huge opposition.

"The issue took on a life of its own," Mr. Goldberg said. "I think Y&R is more than a little upset about this as an issue."

The posting question reportedly started with a San Francisco-based media director, who wanted guaranteed audience delivery for local Y&R client, Franzia Bros. Winery. The idea was then picked up in New York with the possibility of applying it nationwide, according to one source. Once it was reported that Y&R was considering post analysis for all its clients, broadcasters revolted.

"The media director of the wine group buy came out and said he'd made a mistake," Mr. Fries told the board.

Mr. Goldberg said the outcome of the issue may make agencies find some responsibility in better delivery on spots as well.

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