Marketers likely to leave advertising to the pros

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Agency creatives need not fear for their jobs.

A slim majority of Advertising Age online-poll respondents didn't believe advertisers would widely embrace consumer-created ads-but many pinned a caveat on our use of "widely."

"It is a tool in an arsenal that should be used appropriately, most specifically with brands and products that truly compel customer passion," said Aki Spicer, a planner with Fallon, Minneapolis.

Small and medium-size agencies have perhaps the most at stake if marketers go after thousands of highly talented prospective creative directors.

"As long as agencies continue convincing clients that they do great work, they'll keep their jobs," said Mike Weber, chairman of the American Advertising Festival. "Everyone gets a great idea sometimes. Like they say, if you had a room full of monkeys with typewriters ... you'd have a campaign. "

And then there's the risk factor, as marketers would need to release the vise-like grip they've had on their brands, in favor of letting consumers interact with them-for better or worse.

"I don't think most companies are ready to embrace the loss of control and potential backlash," said Ashley Wood, senior brand planner at Publicis West, Seattle.

Some were more optimistic. "We've already seen large-scale marketers embrace this concept to some degree and there are enough creative people out there to make this thing come alive," said Ben Darche of Kaplan Thaler Group.

Or, it could provide a more diverse version of consumer research, said Adam Owett, senior VP-creative and media at Sony BMG Music Entertainment. "Agencies are notoriously homogenous and need to find new ways to bring in more diversified thinking to better reflect our society's," he said.
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