The Buzz

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Marketers to Hollywood: We're not so star-struck anymore.

Keynote speakers from Mastercard International and McDonald's Corp. said at last week's Star Power entertainment marketing conference in L.A. that Hollywood needs to better recognize the value that marketers bring to cross-promotional relationships.

Larry Flanagan, Mastercard's exec VP-chief marketing officer, said he wants to remain in business with Hollywood, but needs better access to talent and more accountability from entertainment companies. "We're buying," Flanagan said, "we just need to know exactly what we're buying."

Attendees at the annual gathering, sponsored by Promotion Marketing Association, said his message was clear.

"It was a reaction to Steve Heyer's speech of two years ago (at Ad Age's Madison + Vine conference)," said Lori Sale, exec VP-worldwide promotions, Miramax. "He said he's open for business, like Heyer said, and he took it further. He told the group how to get his money-by showing how a partnership is meaningful for his brand and how he'll see a return."

Dean Barrett, McDonald's senior VP-global brand business officer, said outside entertainment properties will have to play second fiddle to the brand. "We have to think first about our brand and then find the right relationships to bring the brand values to life," he said.

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