The editorial "The mirage of integration" (AA, June 4) made some good points (e.g. compensation issues). However, we take exception to its use of [Grey Global Group's] "Synchronized Marketing" as an example of a fancy synonym for integrated marketing.
In today's increasingly fragmented media marketplace, where personal and interactive communications are becoming more important to marketing success, the old integration model is too linear and TV-centric to effectively stretch the brand message. Over 20 years of trying to make the b-school integration model work in the real world, it still has an advertising agency bias in practice. We've concluded it is time for a new paradigm.
Grey Global Group has found a solution in Synchronized Market-ing. It leverages the best practices of each marketing discipline and allows the best discipline to lead the process.
Importantly, it uses a dynamic interdependent feedback mechanism from interactive marketing communications (where they know something about listening to consumers) to continually refine and improve all marketing activities and shape new plans.
Part of the beauty of [Grey's] Synchronized Marketing is its flexibility. We've done it successfully within Grey Global Group, as well as with one or more companies from outside our group.
This intra- and inter-company collaboration is catching the attention of our clients and our competitors. It could be on its way to an industry embrace.
Synchronized Marketing is where clients and the industry are headed
Synchronizing a client's communication plan, increasing its efficiency and effectiveness, and reducing expenditures with im- proved results is what today's communication agencies have to deliver.
Director-Global Synchronized Marketing
Grey Global Group
Being part of an agency holding company struggling with delivering "synchronized" marketing services, I was intrigued by "The mirage of integration." While I agree with [Publicis Groupe Chairman-CEO] Maurice Levy that execution is "faulty in practice," I cannot concur with the conclusion "money ... is the root of the reason" [agencies have not truly succeeded with integration].
This is particularly relevant given the cover story in the same issue ("Feeling the squeeze") detailing the evolving business generation-based compensation structure. In fact, lack of relevant training and understanding of the appropriate application of many of the new arsenal of tools on the part of account managers is the problem.
In the advertising heyday of the '70s and '80s, when agencies were leading their clients, it was because account managers understood the business issues and provided innovative creative-based solutions. Today, sadly, as the marketing environment has changed, and among other things, Wall Street is running corporate America, creative alone just doesn't have the horsepower to deliver the required immediate short-term results. Enter fully integrated marketing, where consumer, brand and channel issues are simultaneously addressed and sales results are significantly greater and more immediate than with "traditional" advertising.
No agency is going to be successful in integrating its marketing communications offerings until the people on the front line, the account management team, understands when it is appropriate to use them.
Chief Executive Officer
J. Brown/LMC Group
Editor's note: J. Brown/LMC Group is a unit of Grey Global Group.
`Bunch' cites bad rumor
Has "Brady's Bunch" morphed into Brady's hunch? In my day, reporters-and yes, columnists-did a little fact checking before deadlines. Regarding Jim Brady's lead "Brady's Bunch" item in the June 18 Ad Age, regarding former [Harper's] Bazaar Editor in Chief Kate Betts' departure, there was no one "ushered" from the Hearst building. Not necessary and not (now or ever) our style. Call me crazy but why go on repeating a bad (fashionistas might call it bitchy) rumor? We're a phone call away and are always happy to set the record straight.
Chief Communications Officer
New Choices' not for sale
To reiterate what we told Advertising Age ("Is RDA `Walking' Away?" AA, June 11), New Choices magazine is not for sale. New Choices does a terrific job of delivering the over-50 market and continues to be an important part of our magazine strategy. There is no basis to the speculation in the story.
U.S. Magazines Group
Editor's note: The story in question referred to "speculation about the fate" of New Choices and included a statement from Reader's Digest that the magazine was not for sale.
* In the table "Before the boom went bust" (June 11, P. 47), the 2000 spending total for newspapers should have read $49,050 million and the 2000 total for cable TV should have read $14,429 million.