New 4A's head: focus on value

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[naples, fla.] In his first address as American Association of Advertising Agencies chairman, Brendan Ryan, CEO of True North Communications' FCB Worldwide, urged the membership to refocus marketers' attention on the value of advertising.

"Advertising is becoming more and more thought of as a luxury expense, a frivolous luxury," he said, outlining five steps to add clout to the advertising trade.

First, agencies should "celebrate" highly creative work that is also effective. Secondly, he urged shops to devise new, reliable methodologies to measure the effectiveness of integrated advertising services. Third, he said agencies should persuade business school instructors to add lessons that focus on advertising to MBA curriculums.

On his fourth point, he charged agencies to encourage clients to "make their products better." "If a client can't tell you something compelling about their brand in two minutes, how can we in 30 seconds on the Super Bowl?" he said.

Finally, Mr. Ryan said executives should reevaluate how they structure their marketing service options, telling executives that "it's time to reinvent your agencies."

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