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In today's global media marketplace, there is a growing trend for advertisers and agencies to separate the creative and media disciplines. At Leo Burnett, we're moving in the opposite direction.

In our view, the true nature of the Third Revolution in Mass Communications can be summarized in one simple statement: Control over the media will rest firmly in the hands of the consumers.

For the former "mass" marketers, this means that advertising's fundamental communications dynamic will change. The challenges and tactics of message intrusion will be replaced by those of message invitation.

Marshall McLuhan's tenet-"The medium is the message"-will be the key to effective marketing communications. Without the strongest fusion of the message and the medium, the message simply will not be relevant or received.

That's why we approach every piece of business through Lead Teams consisting of key creative, client service, media and research personnel on each account. These people live and breathe the same corporate culture, the same values, the same financial success or failure.

Before an ad is written or a media choice is made, the lead team identifies and isolates the best prospects, determines specific, reachable behavioral objectives and reviews the full range of potential communication avenues for each important target group.

We foresee a day when the classic creative team of copywriter and art director gives way to a new team: content creator and distributor.

Our lead team approach is producing immediate, tangible results for our clients. In Thailand, our client American International Assurance needed to build consumer awareness and boost morale among its sales force. Our lead team effectively married the message to the medium by placing a brand message on directional road signs showing the distance to police stations, hospitals and municipal buildings. What more appropriate time to think about insurance?

But we also no longer treat media as a service. We're more disciplined in understanding the revenue attributable to the media function and the investment required to provide a superior media product.

We're demanding far greater accountability and creativity from our media professionals. And we're determined to provide our clients with superior, brand-driven communications plans tailored specifically to their needs, supported with top-class research and systems.M

Robert C. Brennan is senior VP-international media director, Leo Burnett Worldwide.

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