REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK: Of women, minorities and teen idols

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[dana point, calif.] The face of the new economy isn't so different from the old one: Speakers for the Association of National Advertisers conference, titled "Brand Building in the New Economy," included not a single woman during the course of three days and 21 speakers and panelists.

Attendees, both male and female, couldn't help but notice. The lone minorities among speakers were Clarence O. Smith, president and co-founder of Essence Communications, and Edward Ondarza, VP at Enron Media Services, who was a late substitution for another (male) Enron executive. Despite three additions to ANA's original speaker lineup, none of the substitutes was a woman.

Separate but equal: The ANA met demands for a bigger role for minority media companies in its conference by launching a separate annual Multicultural Marketing Conference. But minority media executives groused that the conference was small consolation since all the major decisionmakers are more likely to attend the main conference.

"After 15 years in the business, separate but equal doesn't cut it anymore," said Louis Carr, exec VP-broadcast media sales for Black Entertainment Television. Mr. Carr said he will not attend the multicultural conference, scheduled for Oct. 29-31 in Naples, Fla., as a personal protest. An ANA spokeswoman noted that Mr. Smith of Essence addressed multicultural marketing at the main conference and that the organization hosts separate events for a number of specialty areas, including event and business-to-business marketing.

One if by land, two if by sea: Concerned that striking actors would crash its beach party on the final night of the conference, the ANA had security not only on the walkway leading from the hotel and cliff overlooking the beach but also along the beach. One Screen Actors Guild member eluded the net, however -- the evening's entertainment, Frankie Avalon. Mr. Avalon wasn't worried about being ostracized or disciplined for giving aid and comfort to the enemy. "Nobody said anything to me about it," he said. "I'm not filming anything."

A $20 million cup of joe: Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman of The New York Times Co., pointed with pride during his Oct. 14 luncheon address to the company's recent agreement that allowed the Times to displace USA Today as the sole national newspaper in 2,200 U.S. Starbucks locations. But the Times ran up a steep tab for its stop at Starbucks, paying $20 million to secure its new distribution channel, said an executive familiar with the deal.

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