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The decision by Association of National Advertisers conference organizers to allow the broadcast TV networks to sponsor its morning sessions drew strong reactions about the exclusion of print media and cable networks.

Most advertiser attendees seemed generally accepting of the arrangement, new this year.

$100,000 SPONSOR FEE

After paying what's said to be a $100,000 fee for sponsorship, ABC, CBS and Fox each hosted a morning program that included some pitching of their own networks to an audience that controls billions of dollars in TV spending.

The approach drew fire from publishers, with Hearst Magazines President Cathleen Black stating, "If you look at the program, no one would imagine that print [advertising] exists."

James Ebron, exec VP-corporate media sales, Black Entertainment Television, whose company sponsored Monday night's dinner, called the network-sponsored morning sessions "one big pitch."


The ANA-member marketers targeted by the networks were kinder in their assessment. Several remarked they can learn from case studies of the networks, which also face the issue of branding.

Doug Cox, VP-director of marketing services and corporate communications for SmithKline Beecham, said it was "a little commercial" but "I think the networks deserve a format."

"Trying something different-that's fine," said the head of marketing for a consumer goods company. "What you want to avoid is becoming a captive audience for a sales pitch."

ANA President-CEO John Sarsen Jr. defended the program, saying the networks' exuberance could be traced to "passion and enthusiasm for [their] brand," adding that the networks were responsible in their pitches.

He declined to confirm the $100,000 figure, stating that the fee helped to pay for the stage dressing and no profit was made.

"The money trail is bullshit," said Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. Group VP Ron Cox and the ANA's outgoing chairman. "We've made no more money on this than we have in the past."

Mr. Sarsen said whether the sponsorship arrangement will be repeated next year depends on evaluations from members after this year's meeting. The program for next year will be put together by Jim Garrity, incoming chairman and senior VP-director of advertising, First Union National Bank (see Photo Review on Page 42).

"Controversy is good," said Wrigley's Mr. Cox. "But our real job is satisfying our members, and that verdict isn't in yet."


Also at the four-day conference:

John Costello, senior exec VP-general manager of marketing at Sears, Roebuck & Co., was named vice chairman and Mike Soriano, VP-advertising services, Warner-Lambert Co., was named treasurer.

Other new board members include SmithKline Beecham's Mr. Cox; John Hayes, exec VP-global advertising, American Express Co.; Michael Howe, director of marketing communications, United Airlines; Dawn Hudson, exec VP-marketing and new-business development, Frito-Lay; David Ropes, director-corporate advertising and integrated marketing, Ford Motor Co.; and Peter Spengler, VP-marketing services, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

Outgoing ANA Chairman Ron Cox won the Goldstein Award for public service advertising, for his efforts on domestic violence.

Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide Chairman Emeritus Charlotte Beers told attendees that agencies "are notorious for not selling themselves well," and that there's a question whether shops "follow the best brands or the money in looking for brands to pursue."

Starbucks Coffee Co. Senior VP-Marketing Scott Bedbury told ANA his company's job "is to become the protagonist for all that's good about coffee," and in that, Starbucks has an advantage over supermarket brands, because "the key for us is retail stores."

He noted that supermarket coffee marketers, such as Procter & Gamble Co.'s Folgers, have missed the boat by "letting the grocery channel define their

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