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Video Clip From John Stratton's Candid Talk at Madison & Vine Conference

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Verizon Wireless CMO John Stratton said traditional ad agencies are selling services that no longer work.
Companion Audio:
Verizon Wireless CMO Warns of Pitfalls in Producing Content for Mobile Phone Networks

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NEW YORK ( -- Speaking at a Hollywood gathering of marketing and entertainment executives last week, Verizon Wireless CMO John Stratton offered eight warning points to advertising agency chiefs.

$1 billion ad spend
He noted that his office currently spends more than $1 billion a year for advertising on "overvalued, inefficient, rapidly eroding mass-market advertising platforms that continue to underdeliver," and that like many other major marketers, he is "not happy" with that situation.

Specifically addressing top ad agency executives who were among the 400 attending last week's Madison & Vine conference at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Mr. Stratton suggested the future well-being of their businesses depended on how well they took heed of these following points:

The points:

  1. "Your clients are absolutely in trouble and they are looking for you to save them."

  2. "What you've been selling for the last 50 years no longer works."

  3. "Major marketing money is going to be in motion in the next decade and no one really yet understands exactly where it will land, if it even will land, or if it will just disappear altogether."

  4. "Before they figure out where to put their money, your marketer clients will hire and fire agency after agency, seeking someone, anyone, who can tell them where they might go next."

  5. "CMO average tenure, already famously brief, will get even shorter as CEOs begin to recognize how much money they are blowing on antiquated media plans."

  6. "Your marketer clients are really seeking one thing and one thing only: an audience for the message they are trying to convey to the market place."

  7. "But your clients actually need more than just an audience. One of the consequences of the evolution of our media-delivery systems over the last 10 years is that the audience you do ultimately find is much less receptive to the message you're trying to send. They are absolutely armed and ready to get to the content they want while avoiding the message you are trying to implant within it."

  8. "They need much more than an audience. They need an audience that cares about what they have to say. They need their message to be relevant to the audience they are saying it to."

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