Liodice Calls For Accountability

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[Dana Point, Calif.] Robert Liodice didn't mince words in his opening address of the Association of National Advertisers' conference, telling marketers to make marketing accountable and scolding a government that is taking a longer look at advertising.

"There's pressure to demonstrate real return on investment," the president-CEO of the association said. "CEOs are holding marketers accountable for the effective management of billions of dollars in marketing spending. They're demanding timely and relevant business measures."

Mr. Liodice warned marketers to reinforce the importance of marketing at the highest levels of their organization. "There's little tolerance for soft measures, excuses and explanations," he said. "Otherwise, marketers are going to turn into brand caretakers instead of brand champions. Marketers need to become more accountable or risk being shut out of the executive suite."

Mr. Liodice also made brief mention of the Food and Drug Administration's inquiry into direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceutical companies. The FDA last month held public hearings on DTC, gathering information it intends to use to reshape guidelines for the category.

"This could be a real problem if, as an industry, we don't get them to turn their attention elsewhere," he said.

Separately, the ANA and EMM Group's Center for Marketing Excellence announced a joint certification-training program for corporate marketers, an accreditation program that will be the first of its kind in the industry.

The new ANA/CME Marketer Certification Program is comprised of an ascending ladder of accreditation, with the ultimate goal of attaining "Master Marketer" status.

Participants will need to successfully complete four to six classes and pass a certification test to advance to the next level. Bob Wehling, former global marketing officer for Procter & Gamble Co., will serve as the Director of Faculty.

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