Contrary to the article, both the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and I fully support the idea of integrated campaigns. But far more often than not, "traditional" advertising remains the cornerstone of such campaigns, and until sufficient media weight is put behind the advertising, other components are far less effective. There's a big difference between $350 million-to-$400 million in ad exposure, which the campaign should be generating annually through direct buys and the matching component, and the roughly $65 million actually achieved in paid media targeted to teenagers last year (hardly the amount ONDCP has claimed).
There is also a major difference between integrated programs for building brand loyalty relationships with customers through personal interactivity to generate product re-purchase, and the anti-drug program, whose goal is to affect attitude and ultimately social behavior.
The Partnership has always been a strong proponent of delivering multiple executions for a given strategy to our target audiences. What we have argued for at ONDCP and in our testimony before Congress is a reduction in the number of message strategies, and a consistent focus on those few strategies (notably the negative consequences of drug use) known to correlate with changes in teen attitudes and behavior. The "unwieldy theoretical construct" that I testified against was, in effect, a different strategy for every age/drug subset of our audience.
We supported, and in fact initiated, a "drugs and terrorism" strategy since the campaign addresses a new and salient negative consequence of drug use. We doubt the executional wisdom of attacking your target audience, even if only ironically. (Incidentally, our understanding is that the 74% positive response cited by ONDCP was generated from storyboards that bear little resemblance to the on-air work. We are still awaiting any research that might suggest how the campaign actually performed.)
These issues notwithstanding, we will continue to work with ONDCP Director John Walters so that the differences between the Partnership and ONDCP can be sorted out in a way that enables us to create effective anti-drug advertising and secure sufficient media weight to support it. We believe the director shares that objective and, in any event, it is all the Partnership has ever cared about.
Executive Creative Director
Partnership for a Drug-Free America
Mr. Rosenshine is chairman-CEO of Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide.
Welcomes attention for media audits
Borrowing from "I wish I had written that" ... I wish I had written Erwin Ephron's "Media audit's time is come" (Viewpoint, AA, Sept. 2) since I believe Erwin has done us all a favor by highlighting this issue. Having had an auditing system (Validpost, which deals with both the quantitative and the qualitative aspects of media) in place for more than four years, I think the article makes a number of important points. Primarily, it is that the media audit concept's time has not only come, it's been lying relatively dormant (considering the size of our business) for too long.
Its time is certainly now.
Schoenfeld & Partners
Media audits must account for strategy
Erwin Ephron's article ("Media audit's time is come", Viewpoint, AA, Sept. 2) on auditing was both timely and relevant. However, there's one dimension I'd add to his "measures that fool."
At last, communications strategy is an emerging discipline in U.S. media agencies. Its mission is to move "media planning" (really now "communications planning") away from its heritage as commodity trading towards a more sophisticated, up-front involvement, where the media contribution is more than simply being the vehicle of creative (read: 30-second TV commercial) delivery.
Thus any auditing process that does not account in some manner for a client's communications strategy is leading straight back to commodity-style "never-mind-your-fancy-ideas, how-many-GRPs-is-it-and-what's-my-CPM?" discussions.
Communications Strategy Director
Zipatoni 9/11 memo was misunderstood
I was horrified to read the Adages column featuring commentary that implied our company was exploiting the tragedy of 9/11/01 for self-promotional purposes (AA, Sept. 9). For whatever reason, your publication received a copy of an internal memo not authorized or approved by me that was sent to you by a well-meaning employee. The document Ad Age received was not a press release. It was simply a memo that communicated our intention to offer our employees a few hours off and a few dollars to spend with family and friends.
We sincerely apologize to the advertising community and appreciate your understanding.
Chief Operating Officer
* In "Cordiant plans reorganization; Hearn new CEO" (Sept. 9, P. 3), Harris Associates Director of International Investments David Herro was misidentified as director of internal investments.
* In "Top Spots" ("The Week", Sept. 9, P. 12), the period in which the ads were viewed was incorrectly given as Aug. 19 through Sept. 9. The correct dates are Aug. 19 through Sept. 1.
* In "Sony rolls cinematic PS2 push" (Sept. 2, P. 4), Advertising Age cannot confirm the source or accuracy of the market-share projections for Sony Electronics Corp.'s PS 2 that were published in the story and incorrectly attributed to NPD FunWorld.