MR. ARTZT'S UNFINISHED TASK

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When the chronicle for advertising is written about the 1990s ... one individual will tower over the rest in terms of their lasting and beneficial impact ... Edwin L. Artzt of Procter & Gamble." So said new-media consultant Peter Sealey at last month's American Association of Advertising Agencies media conference in Orlando.

Ten months after calling on agencies and marketers to meet the challenges of the new-media age, Mr. Artzt this Friday will issue a progress report at a meeting in New York called by a Four A's/Association of National Advertisers task force, the Coalition for Advertising-Supported Information and Entertainment (CASIE), and sponsored by Advertising Age and NBC.

The goal: Spotlight key issues facing marketers in the digital revolution and outline how to deal with them. Mr. Artzt is expected to boast the ad industry is better prepared to confront the changing communications landscape, yet significant hurdles still exist.

Legislative/regulatory issues: The ad industry must remain vocal in spelling out the role it can play in providing funding to allow universal access to the so-called information superhighway.

Research: The CASIE task force will urge new-media services to work with third-party research companies to provide accountability in audience measurement.

Technology standards: The lack of standards is one reason marketers haven't rushed to embrace emerging media technologies. Advertisers must be in on the ground floor of the creation of such standards.

CASIE seems off to a good start. We hope its members are in it for the long haul.

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