Here in the "Old World" we've been working with clients, broadcasters and new media to develop "advertiser owned" programming for years.
It's called sponsorship, the only part of the marketing mix designed to exploit consumer choice. Done well, it provides complete integration, combining tailor-made television, events, interactivity, relationship marketing-the list goes on and on. All specifically created to deliver reach and frequency via relevance to consumers' needs and wants.
No wonder so many ad agencies over here are trying to reinvent themselves as sponsorship experts, without mentioning the dreaded "S" word. And as for Madison Avenue-my heart bleeds.
Orbit International Sponsorship
Rance Crain has the right idea when he writes that Ed Artzt is trying to get P&G to go "back to the future-and the world doesn't work that way." While I suspect Mr. Artzt is correct in his predictions that television will change drastically in the next five years, I also suspect he doesn't remember clearly how bland TV programming was in the '50s when advertisers like P&G controlled much of what we saw, not to mention the quiz show scandals that resulted when overzealous advertisers decided to stop short of nothing to ensure that their ratings were high week after week-until the truth was told.
A. Jerome Jewler
Professor, College of Journalism & Mass Communications
University of South Carolina
Edwin L. Artzt's views on the future of the industry are nothing new. It is not so much the future of ad-supported television that is bleak but the mass marketing methods that Procter & Gamble clings to. The real problem is that P&G has forgotten about the consumer and has allowed television to become its life preserver. And it doesn't quite float the way it used to.
What Artzt is looking for is integrated marketing communications. P&G needs to start thinking about profits by behavioral segments and exploring non-traditional media instead of maintaining its reach and frequency (an outdated measurement) and volume quotas. Their consumers are not quite looking for information in the same places anymore. Why wait for 500 channels to give consumers a more customized message?
As long as P&G believes in preserving television as its principal media, it will continue to produce more and more ineffective communications for their $2.7 billion television budget. That's a lot of Tide going down the drain.
With all respect, Ed Artzt is mistaken when he says that television is the only way to reach 90% of a brand's target audience 6 to 7 times a month. The supermarket shelf, in fact, provides comparable reach and frequency. And it scarcely bears repeating that upwards of 80% of purchasing decisions are made in-store, not at home.
The package goods industry's real challenge is re-engineering the shopping experience to build brands and generate revenues. Right now the battle is being lost, primarily because the food industry's entire focus is on cutting costs through Efficient Consumer Response initiatives. I have nothing against cutting costs or realizing efficiencies, but the package-goods industry and its retail trade "partners" have got to start building their net revenue lines again or soon there will be nothing left to cut.
Christopher W. Hoyt
Reach Marketing West
Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Having just finished reading James Brady's column in your May 9 issue ("Blame Solomon, blame Sheba"), I am moved to write what I've been intending to write for some time: If Brady for any reason disappears from your pages, my name will disappear from your subscription rolls.
William M. Epperheimer
Kansas City (Kan.) Kansan
The advertising industry is finally beginning to respond to the paucity of racial diversity throughout its ranks. In particular, we 8 applaud Harold Levine's sound prescriptions for change (Forum, AA, May 9) and Jay Chiat's challenge to his colleagues to create a $7.5 million fund aimed at recruiting and training minorities. We believe it's time for magazine publishers to take similar action.
While inroads have been made within the newspaper, radio and television industries to hire and promote more minority professionals, magazines have been especially slow to follow. And all too often the excuse is that "qualified" people of color don't exist.
But we do exist, as evidenced last November when more than 50 people of color, representing nearly 30 different magazines (both trade and consumer) and serving virtually all disciplines within the industry met together at the New York Hilton. The result of that meeting is a burgeoning organization called 4/color.
The mission of 4/c is to support minorities in magazine publishing through networking, professional development and advocacy, and through outreach efforts to encourage young people to consider careers at magazines.
In two industries where numbers and demographics are so important, it amazes us that magazines and ad agencies can be such bastions of racial homogeneity. Because people of color bring perspectives which are particularly relevant in the face of this country's changing complexion, deliberate in-breeding just isn't good business practice.
Employers at both magazines and ad agencies must realize that people of color have the same aspirations for achievements as they do, as well as the talent and ability to succeed. But in order to make significant contributions, we must first be able to find opportunities and then we must be able to function in atmospheres that welcome our diversity.
Vaughn Benjamin, Rodney English
and Allison Winfield
Co-founders of 4/color
Jay Chiat's plans are admirable ("Jay Chiat on minority hiring," AA, May 23). Creating a multi-million-dollar fund for recruiting and training minority talent for advertising and marketing will most certainly help expand its reach.
But will some of the 49 million people with disabilities be included in this group? 1990 census figures show this group with annual incomes at $699 billion and discretionary incomes of $188 billion. I hope Mr. Chiat also plans to include people with disabilities among those he recruits as account execs, art and creative directors and producers. And, while we're at it, let's make sure that agency offices are accessible.
Each year Easter Seals' EDI Awards honor advertisers and their agencies for innovative ads that include people with disabilities. It's a great first step. But if we really want to reach out to all consumers "more effectively" and get rid of the "them vs. us," now's the time to add people with disabilities to the advertising workplace.