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Michael Drexler, now president of BJK&E Media Group, made his first media buy in the New York classified pages in 1960. His client was David Ogilvy, who had lost his dog.

Mr. Drexler, who had just gone to work for Ogilvy & Mather, would later work at Doyle Dane Bernbach. He joined Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt in 1987, just after the merger.


Now as the agency's senior media person, he views the shifting currents of American popular culture from a unique, demanding, yet often undervalued observatory. "In media, you're tempted occasionally to sit back and think large sociological thoughts about the imperatives and consequences of what you do. Although we hear a lot of talk about the growth of alternative choices in media today, I think some of this is overstated. The fact remains that the mainstream media still capture the lion's share of the audience at one time and in one place, and will remain critically important for a long time," he says.

"That said, it's also true those alternatives allow you to mitigate much of the waste associated with mass media in an increasingly diversified culture.

"If you look at the World Wide Web, everybody's finding people who share common interests. No time need be wasted dealing with outsiders.


"Will this create isolation? Perhaps. But it will also create a more captive environment for advertisers. On the one hand, fewer eyeballs; on the other, more interest in the message."

"When I started in 1960, TV variety shows were a network staple, usually hosted by a personality whom most everybody found appealing. Today they are extinct. Why? Because we no longer have those kinds of personalities anymore. Our culture has many segments, and each has its own special icons. The world no longer rallies around the modern equivalent of Frank Sinatra or Bing Crosby....

"Of course, there were fewer cultural choices in 1960... The good part was an advertiser could create a long-term association in which the performer helped build the brand. That was fun. Today the magazine concept of buying TV by looking for the best packages of audience at the lowest price tends to make the business a commodity. The computer takes over. But computers can't make judgments.

"One of the things we take pride in here at Bozell is our ability to customize our thinking to each client.The more specialized the market becomes, the more important strategic thinking."

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