There was heated controversy at the Association of National Advertisers annual conference over ANA's decision to allow three broadcast networks for the first time to sponsor not just events but full- day conference programs at the meeting. The most vocal critics were magazine publishers. Said Hearst Magazines President Cathie Black, "If you look at the program, no one would imagine that print exists." Indeed, some networks made blatant sales pitches. NBC Television Network President Neil Braun, after a short speech, introduced an actress from the NBC sitcom "Mad About You," who said, "I'm supposed to tell you $1 million a :30 is a bargain." John Sarsen Jr., ANA president-CEO, wouldn't confirm the networks paid $100,000 per sponsorship, but said he believed they were "very responsible." The meeting, in Laguna Niguel, Calif., ends today.
Copyright October 1997, Crain Communications Inc.