Tonight, the conference was opened by IAB President and CEO, Randall Rothenberg. He greeted the sold out conference with a report on the challenges facing our industry in 2009 and the achievements the IAB has made in furthering the goals of interactive advertising with measurement and co-existing with advertising agencies.
The keynote speach by Wenda Millard, President, Media and Co-CEO, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia was an amazing overview of the interactive advertising world in 2009 and beyond. She kicked off her assessment of the media and advertising industry with the bomb we all are living…”If 2008 was a fish, we’d throw it back.”
As I’ve written here before, the media industry and advertising industry are both undergoing a sea change and as we say, “Speed kills…especially those that don’t have it.” In a year when TV Guide sold for $1, less than its newsstand price, then we have to admit something dramatic is happening in the industry.
Here are some bullet points I wrote down. Sit down. They are kind of harsh.
- Media companies hit 52 week lows in stock price recently
- Death is happening or has already happened to many media companies
- Advertising cannot support all the media out there and we’ve already seen the demise of print publications such as the Christian Science Monitor
- Down is down. Myers predicts advertising will be down greater than 10% over the next three years, an unprecedented decline.
- Barry Diller says, “Anyone who thinks about growth in the next few years is delusional.”
- When giving the pitch for interactive advertising, measurement should be the sizzle…not the steak.
- Good advertising is not about math and technology, it’s about good creative and we need to encourage creativity and building brands.
Brands today are fluid, not just linear extensions and color palettes. Brand marketers have to ask the question “How does the logo sound? How does it work in text, in images, in moving text and video.” Ms. Millard also had strong words for ad networks. In a blanket statement she said, “Ad networks give you nothing but cheap eyeballs.” I couldn’t agree more. As a matter of fact, it’s been the guiding principle behind in my conversations with advertisers as we look to generate ROI for their budgets. Especially in these economic times.
More to come from the IAB. We’re just getting started!