Clients And Agencies Disagree On State Of Relationship

The just released 2004 Salz Survey of Advertiser-Agency Relations paints an uneven picture of the agency-advertiser relationship.

  • Twenty percent of advertisers claimed sales had greatly improved over last year but only eight percent of agencies report income having greatly improved.
  • Seven percent of advertisers said sales were slightly worse while 19 percent of agencies said their income was worse.
  • Fifty percent of advertisers reported more advertiser-agency teamwork while 35 percent of agencies felt that way.
  • Eighteen percent of advertisers said there was less teamwork as compared to eight percent of agencies.
  • Fifty five percent of advertisers claimed an increased focus on the advertiser-agency relationship while only 12 percent of agencies though that way.
  • Fifteen percent of advertisers said there was less focus on client needs yet no agency respondents agreed there was less focus.
  • Of advertisers, 23.7 percent felt their sales would increase in agencies were allowed to do their best work. While that metric had a high of 31.4 percent in 1997, it's usually hovered around 20 percent. Less than one quarter of advertisers think an agency's best work can improve their sales.
Not to be too harsh on the two groups but it sounds like agencies are a bunch of whiners while advertisers don't respect advertising's role in effecting sales.
by Steve Hall    Oct- 8-04    

Christina Aguilera Skechers Ad Gets Banned

Oh how we love when interest groups over react and can't see a joke for the joke it is. A bunch of American nurses have complained about a recent Skechers ad featuring Christina Aguilera dressed in nurse fantasy (fantasy, get it?) attire.

Center For Nursing Advocacy Executive Director Sandy Summers said, "This ad simultaneously exploits the 'naughty nurse' and the battleaxe/Nurse Ratched stereotypes, setting the nurse up both as an available sex object and a mock-malevolent authority figure, rather than a competent professional."

The ad has been banned. Overseas, at least. See the original story and all the ads here.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 8-04    

Radio Industry Curls Into Fetal Position Following Stern's Exit Announcement

Envisioning their stations going out of business and their mortgages going unpaid, radio broadcaster are lamenting the loss of $100 million in ad revenue when Howard Stern leaves broadcast radio for Sirius satellite radio in 2006. And so the 16 month, futile, search for Stern's replacement has begun. Executives, who once worshipped Stern will now, predictably, begin to spout phrases like, "Oh, we'll be fine. There's plenty of radio talent out there. Howard isn't the only rating getter." Or excuses such is this one from Entercom Communications CEO David Field, "What did it mean to late-night TV when Johnny Carson left? The reality is, that was not the demise of late-night TV." While true, it's not as though television ratings haven't suffered over the years as the proliferation of media options allows consumers to easily gravitate to better content, forever fragmenting what's left. The same will be true of radio. More choice. More fragmentation. We're not going back to a three network television world or a radio environment as bland and limiting as the current one. When Stern leaves, radio will suffer.


by Steve Hall    Oct- 8-04    

Schwarzenegger And Romney Square Off In Billboard Campaign

Not that we don't doubt Arnold would crush Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in a grudge match but the fight the two are currently waging leaves the outcome a bit less certain. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is running a billboard campaign in 12 cities across the nation to bring business to California. The billboard features Arnold in a tight T-shirt, muscles exposed with the headline, "Arnold says California wants your business." in response to that campaign, Romney has launched his own billboard campaign featuring his decidedly less muscular, although fit self, dressed in a business shirt with the headline, "Smaller muscles, but lower taxes! Massachusetts means business." We love Massachusetts and we love Arnold. May the best billboard win.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 8-04    

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Mazda, Sirius, Comcast, ESPN, Subway Team For Brand Orgasm

We love a good brand partnership but we think there's a limit to how many brands should be smacked together at the same time. Try to follow this. There's this thing called ESPN The Truck. It's a 53 foot interactive television sportscenter on wheels letting people experience ESPN HD, play video games, download programs and get their picture of the cover of ESPN Magazine. All good. ESPN got together with Comcast Spotlight's Chicago ad sales team to take the truck to Subway restaurants in Bolingbrook, IL for a day. All good. A cable sales team capitalizes on its cable carrier for local exposure and Subway gets in on the exposure too. Not done yet. ESPN The Truck can't just stand on its own brand. It has to have two more brands sponsoring it so now we throw in Mazda and SIRIUS for good measure. On one hand, this is great marketing in terms of co-branding and amortizing costs across several interested parties. On the other hand, its a brand onslaught the consumer has to digest and interpret. OK, so it's really not all that confusing but what's easier - remembering one brand or five?

by Steve Hall    Oct- 8-04    

Adrants Billboards: Ad Spend Up in 2005, 2006

  • ZenithOptimedia Group has upgraded its outlook on ad spending for 2005 and 2006. Worldwide, ad spend is expected to rise 4.8 percent in 2005 and 5.6 percent in 2006.
  • Dave is close to overtaking Jay. Ratings for The Late Show With David Letterman are within 0.4 of a rating point behind The Tonight Show With Jay Leno among adults 18-49, the closest since 1995.
  • A new report from the Dieringer Research Group suggests that people still prefer buying products offline rather than online, even when they conduct product research online.
  • The media was denied its circus last night when Martha Stewart snuck into Alderson prison under cover of darkness for her five month stay.
  • Bob Guccione, former Penthouse publisher, has refused a $500,000 per year, ten year offer from the magazine's new owners to stay on as editor.
by Steve Hall    Oct- 8-04    

ANA Launches Annual Conference in Naples

The Association of National Advertisers has launched its annual conference today at the Ritz Carlton in Naples Florida. The ANA's public relations firm, CooperKatz and Company will be covering the event and blogging it live here.

We'll cover it too but not as well as CooperKatz and Company's Steve Rubel and Lesley Weiner. Lesley will be in Naples at the event and Steve will be in New York. Stay tuned.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 8-04