Our real hillbillies
Dec. 19, 2002
Aren't "The Osbournes" the hillbillies in the L.A. mansion . . ?
I'm so confused.
Mercury Communication Partners
Hey, you forgot us
Dec. 17, 2002
I'm writing in
reference to the interesting article by Jeff Bercovici regarding the
launch of STA's magazine for college students, Xplore (Xplore,
for college kids with loose feet,
From Jungle, a travel title enters a crowded field.)
I just wanted to let you know that, unfortunately, you've
missed mentioning one of the biggest players in the student travel market
- Student Traveler Magazine.
Unlike Outside, National Geo Adventure, or Frommer's Budget
Travel, our magazine is already focused directly on the student travel
market, and we've been there for six years now.
Unlike STA's Xplore, we are completely independent and have
grown from a small magazine written by college travelers for college
travelers to one of the most widely-distributed magazines for young
We are freely distributed on over 750 college campuses
in the United States, are expanding from 50,000 to 100,000 circulation in
our next issue, are published five times per year, and are truly the voice
of the independent student traveler.
I'm sure Xplore will be a great, high-end publication for STA,
but for all the students who truly want advice from independent sources
and inspiration from travelers like themselves, they'll still pick up our
magazine in their study-abroad offices first.
If you're interested in seeing print copies of our recent
issues, please feel free to let me know.
Thanks for taking the time to cover the travel magazine business,
especially for adventurous and student travelers.
Student Traveler Magazine
Hey, you forgot us
Dec. 17, 2002
magazine was remiss when Places, the magazine for the modern nomad, was
not mentioned in your article on travel magazines that target younger
travelers. In your article on Jungle Media’s new travel magazine, you
failed to mention that Places, the magazine for the modern nomad, invented
There had never been a travel magazine specifically designed
for 18-35 year-old travelers before Places, the magazine for the modern
nomad, launched in August 2001.
Our magazine just celebrated its one-year anniversary issue
not too long ago.
However, unlike Jungle’s new magazine, which will be distributed
by STA travel and is only for 18-25 year-olds, Places has full newsstand
and bookstore distribution and has gained a large following from people of
varying ages who represent the new travel culture, anywhere from 18-49. It
has always been Places intention to be a voice, and a magazine where
younger travelers and readers could find a design style and editorial
content that they could personally relate to. Looking towards the future,
we will continue to innovate and revolutionize the genre.
Paul W Jacob
Publishing and editorial director
Please, stop the NY
Nov. 21, 2002
Dear Editor: Just wanted
to say that I found your headline about "flop sweat" re: Donahue
quite objectionable. (Deathwatch
for Donahue Television: He's oozing
flop sweat, sure. But don't dig just yet)
You are, after all, not the New York Post.
On the whole you are a good site and I enjoy your news and
insights but this was uncalled for.
The editor responds: We are indeed not the New York Post
Hey, you guys got it
Nov. 8, 2002
Your Nov. 6 story on how the New York Post is taking readers away from the
Daily News is a portrait in journalistic inaccuracy, far below Media
Life’s usual standard of excellence.
For one thing, you state that the rivalry “really heated up
two years ago when the Post lowered its newsstand price to 25 cents.”
According to your report, this prompted the Daily News to respond “by
launching a free afternoon edition, the Daily News Express, but folded it
a year later.”
Search your memory and you’ll realize that the launch of
the Express by the Daily News came first and that it sent the Post into
utter panic and prompted them to slash their newsstand price.
What’s more, the reason the Daily News folded Express,
which had been distributed at major transportation hubs in Manhattan and
Brooklyn, was that post-9/11 security precautions made delivery
Once the Post realized that it could sell its paper more
successfully at a quarter, a stunning exercise in money-losing publishing,
it stuck with this price for one apparent reason: Maybe, just maybe, it
could gain enough cheap circulation to achieve parity with the Daily News
and begin competing with us on the advertising front.
Maybe. But meanwhile the Daily News continues to run three
times the ad pages the Post runs for the simple reason that we work for
our advertisers and the Post doesn’t.
As for the Post being up 10.5 per cent in the Sept. 30 ABC
audit and the Daily News being down 2.5 per cent, try this explanation on
for size: In the comparable post-9/11 period, the Daily News, because of
its incredible editorial coverage, registered a series of million-a-day
Even at its near-giveaway price of a quarter, the Post had no
such success. That we were down only 2.5 per cent against such a
formidable performance represents a magnificent achievement for the Daily
News and is reflective of why we outsell every newspaper, including The
New York Times, in the five boroughs.
You suggest that the circulation losses we are incurring are
“mortifying” for the Daily News.
In truth, the only thing that’s mortifying us is that a
respected news medium like Media Life would inadvertently mislead its
readers into believing that this is the case.
Everyone has come to expect more from you, just as readers
and advertisers expect more from the Daily News than from the Post.
President and Chief Operating Officer
The editor responds: The sequence of events recounted in our story was
indeed wrong. As Media Life reported at the time, the decision to launch
the Daily News Express, announced in August 2000, preceded the New York
Post's cover price reduction. Media Life regrets the error.
#&^!#@ the record industry
Nov. 5, 2002
The RIAA has a flackmeister second only to the MPAA's.
(Nobody beats Jack!). (Web
Shorts: Online music sales show drop)
Maybe online CD sales are down because online no longer
offers a benefit. Check prices for new releases and you will find the
chain discounters now easily undercut online prices.
So what's the benefit of buying online?
CDs released this week are running $10.99-11.99 at
Kmart, Wal-Mart, Target, BestBuy, CircuitCity, etc. Tough for an e-com
retailer to match those prices because they can't pick, pack and ship for
5-10 percent of the sell price (i.e. equal to the local sales tax) and
still make a profit.
Nor can they match the "buy today, play today"
As for the overall decline in sales, the RIAA and the
industry shrug off the weak economy and lack of real hits in favor of
blaming Napster, Kazaa and CD burners for their woes.
My survey sample (*) says: "There aren't as many
CDs worth buying as there used to be. Who wants to buy a whole CD for one
or two good songs? And they keep playing all this nasty stuff on the
Forty-fives may be gone but the basic concept has taken on a
new life as .mp3 files. Too bad the RIAA and the labels haven't figured it
Or don't want to...
(* Son (23), May 2002 college grad, daughter, 19, college freshman,
and their friends.)
HR pinheads and older media people
Nov. 4, 2002
Hromas's letter to the editor concerning the lack of jobs for experienced
media people should be required reading by all the clueless pinheads who
work in HR and perpetuate the myth that experienced people won't be happy
in lower level positions.
Let's rethink needs
of older media people
Oct 31, 2002
Having bounced around ad agencies and media departments for some 18 years now, I find it hard to understand why everyone assumes older, more experienced professionals won't consider a lower salary in order to find a job (Older media folks face hard job times: Workplace: Hiring's up only for young 'uns. Time to quit biz?).
Where is it written that once someone attains a certain salary level, or job position, they are never willing to accept less?
It sounds as though ad agencies and media companies aren't willing to take the chance they'll get turned down by experienced job applicants because they aren't offering what these people have lost.
What's a few no's when ultimately you'll find a yes and get the experience clients deserve?
Three times now I've taken a lower salary/job position when I wanted to change jobs. All three times I have been amply rewarded in time, especially when business was good.
If companies are worried these employees will not be happy with their "reduced" circumstances, they need to rethink.
This is a career people are happy they chose. Unlike many professions, where you hear people say they are just in it for the money and are waiting to have another life, media people love what they do.
We work with people who are happy to be here. Big salaries are great, but just working in the business for a reasonable salary is enough for some people.
Companies should start interviewing the available talent and making them job offers despite their past salary/job position. It is the only way these companies can provide the quality product they've promised their clients and the only way the next generation can truly learn from those in the know.
(Former broadcast director
western international media,
now initiative media)
Real reason senior
media people have it tough
Oct 31, 2002
this piece (Older
media folks face hard job times: Workplace:
Hiring's up only for young 'uns. Time to quit biz?)
and it was interesting, but it seemed to overlook one of the key reasons
why senior people aren't finding jobs in media: The function has always
been viewed as "back office," to be staffed with the least
expensive, i.e., most junior, people available.
Now that the congloms are under enormous profit and
market pressures, I doubt that they'll hire senior people ever again.
Clients will suffer (as usual), but as the last paragraph
aptly notes, “I don’t think anyone at the top is happy about how they
are doing business right now, but they don’t have a choice."
As a matter of fact they do have a choice, but it would
be at the expense of their bonuses, so it isn't going to happen.
Good riddance to
Oct 30, 2002
awful show is cancelled (Fox
spikes Kelley's 'girls club':
Television: Quick end to critic-trashed legal eaglette series) .
How on earth could the show possibly have cost $1.7 million
per episode? No one was on it who would have gotten a large salary.
The sets were static.
We're in the wrong end of the business! Anyone can write
Oct 28, 2002
Dear Editor: I read
with interest Toni Fitzgerald's article entitled Demise
of pop-ups, coming real soon:
Stampede kicks in as sites noose pesky ad format.)
On balance, the article was a good one, however, let's be
clear in regards to America Online.
A moratorium on pop-ups? Not exactly.
What AOL's press release communicated was that they were
stopping the sale of pop-ups but that they plan to honor commitments to
existing advertisers. What appears to be a movement to give
their subscribers what they want is really a clever PR ploy to
placate their customers and cajole them into believing that pop-ups really
going to go away. A half truth.
When read carefully, one sees that AOL is really not
committed to ridding itself of pop-ups. AOL ,while no longer
selling pop-ups evidently will have no problem pushing them on their
subscribers just so long as they're used to promote their own company or
one of the other sibling companies.
So while we applaud those companies that have
elected to drop pop-up ads, let's be clear that AOL's announcement is just
Is any one else out there tired of being
prompted with a pop-up ad every time we go to sign off the AOL service?
I know I am.
David J. Brown
SVP/Director of Media Services
Your Ethan Alter
Oct 18, 2002
Ethan Alter's take on "RHD" is right on (Robbery
Homicide Div.,' dark, doomed:
First-rate CBS copper far bleaker than 'CSI' model).
Good and thoughtful TV reporting.
Markham/Novell Communications, Ltd.
MSNBC just doesn't
Oct 16, 2002
Your analysis is right on (For
MSNBC, back to the drawing
more changes as makeover sputters.)
Uppermost, they don't get it. The DC area sniper is a
story they should be all over, but they have studio folk talking--talking
when they have a zillion NBC people covering the story on the scene. Imus
more than anyone else on MSNBC gets NBC journalists to talk almost off the
record which is fascinating.
Putting Donahue in Jersey in a little studio is like
having a gourmet chief work in McDonald's. He needs an audience.
Moreover, Donahue admitted during a Katie & Matt interview that he
doesn't like to call people getting them on the show (Dah?). This
interview was on the heels of a similar interview with Al Roker.
It sure doesn't help you fix MSNBC. They have the
strongest cadre of affiliates and don't use them either.
In other words, for G.E. and NBC, MSNBC is a pimple on the
___. This is a a fascinating thing. Even with the resources of NBC, the
No. 1 network news broadcast in the a.m. and p.m., and having the No. 2
web site, they can't figure out cable.
LOUIS P. KASMAN
What's really wrong
with 'West Wing'
Oct 15, 2002
Heidi Vogt wrote a very good article ('West
Wing' is heading
south, Mon Dieu! At hands of
'Bachelor' too! Good grief.)
I don't think it's time to panic about
"The West Wing." It's a strong show and even my conservative
pals watch it. Heidi's article didn't refer to the specific cells within
the demo that tuned out "WW" for 'The Bachelor' but I would
venture it was F 18-49, which would make sense.
What "WW" has to watch out for now is how much more
of a decline will occur after Rob Lowe leaves the series later this
season. He was part (some say all) of their hunk quota.
I think NBC can live with second place though. Like Heidi's
article mentioned, it's a different mindset between these two shows. If I
were at NBC selling "WW," that's a key point I'd point out
Chevy Chase MD
What's really wrong
with 'West Wing'
Oct 15, 2002
Dear Editor: I saw your article on
'The West Wing" ('West
Wing' is heading
south, Mon Dieu! At hands of
'Bachelor' too! Good grief.) and have to comment on the lack
of NBC promotional support behind the show.
I am an avid fan of the show and have been watching it
from the beginning. However, I did not even know when the season premiere
was going to be on.
Why ? Two reasons.
Number one, I am a Tivo owner and don't watch live television
Number two, I did not see one ad anywhere reminding me
of the premiere of the season for the show. If they can't get their core
audience to the show, how are they going to maintain or grow their numbers
I don't think they have to sack the President, or change much
of the cast, to keep it fresh. There will always be plenty of current
events to pull from to write a very good show.
What they need to do is reach their audience more
effectively and more often and remind them that the show is on.
Also, since they appear to be competing against reality
programming, why not try a reality spin of their own and have
"President" Bartlet appear in "newscasts" in other
time slots ?
Paradysz Matera Digital
Writer needs a
Oct 15, 2002
am amazed that Ms. Vogt's reporting on "West Wing" ratings
perpetuates the shallow and misguided view of measuring audiences.
Even the most junior media buyer understands the importance
of demographic and psychographic audience characteristics as critical
criteria for reaching a target audience.
Perhaps she hasn't noticed the lack of fast food advertising
on "West Wing" or maybe she feels a guest shot by the"
Osbornes" would remedy the lack of household ratings relative to
A veteran ABC Television sales exec, I used to ask the
question when agencies based their budgets on household ratings:
"What kind of households does your client want to reach; ranch,
colonial or perhaps some lovely Tudors?"
Much longer life for
paper checks, thank you
Oct 15, 2002
To paraphrase Mark Twain, Media
Life Magazine's October 9 report on the death of paper checks is greatly
Paper checks will be with us for a long time because the
economics of shifting to digitized checks have not been demonstrated by
the Federal Reserve or any other advocate. Legislation to create the legal
framework for digitized checks is advancing based on the blind faith that
electrons are always cheaper than paper.
Ironically, this legislation would authorize paper
which could be produced from the digitized version of the original check
for presentment to the bank on which the check was drawn.
Instead of eliminating paper, this innovation
would increase paper in the U.S. payments system -- hardly a way to save
money or trees.
Much of the case for getting rid of paper checks
is based on eliminating check transportation, but that cost is much less
than the several billion dollars a year MLM reported. The Federal Reserve
recently estimated annual check transportation costs of $200-$250 million
Even if paper check volume dropped by half, much of
that cost would remain because of the substantial fixed expense of
maintaining an overnight delivery capability for the remaining checks.
Digitizing a check, only to reproduce it a few hours later in
another city as a paper substitute check, entails substantial technical
problems which will add to payment processing costs. A major supporter of
digitized checks, the Electronic Check Clearing House Organization,
acknowledge these technical problems in a letter to the Federal Reserve
Finally, not only are consumer groups protesting the
digitized check legislation, but so too are business groups concerned
about increased check fraud.
While the United States is steadily moving towards electronic
payments, the paper check remains a proven and low-cost way of making many
types of payments.
Counsel to AirNet Systems,
a provider of overnight check transportation
Leave NBC's Thursday
Oct 12, 2002
Brilliant Robin! (How
NBC can fix Thursday night Television:
Bold moves are needed. Move 'Friends' to 9 p.m. )
Now all you have to do is
convince CBS to sit there and twiddle its thumbs and not counter-program
to keep the time period match-ups exactly the same. Or even worse watch
"Survivor" drive the final nail in the coffin of teetering
"ER" at 8 p.m.
NBC is so stupid; why are they paying Zucker a gazillion
dollars when there are guys like Robin who can come up with NBC's Thursday
night Salvation just like that--and probably do it for half the money?
Now, any suggestions for Fox's Friday night
Robin, right on
Oct 12, 2002
Dear Editor: I think this is
very clever and well thought out and would do better than the current
line-up and stop the hemorrhaging until NBC development can properly fill
I hope enough media buyers and planners forward this to NBC.
Sept. 12, 2002
Message to John Durham: I like the
honest demonstration of frustration in your column. But you can't blame
the cat for chasing the mouse. That's what they do.
Media types can't be blamed for seeking the best deal.
That's how they're evaluated.
Your beef is really more that there hasn't been
acceptance of the efficacy of online advertising. No money in the market
leads sellers to desperate measures. And, its the sellers who make
performance buys available.
Sorry, but its not going to change without more pain
(shakeout) and/ or change in the basic model.
Partner/ Director of Media and Marketing
Seiter & Miller Advertising
Right on, John
Sept. 11, 2002
commentary yesterday on the pay-per-performance issue for on-line
thievery, let's call it: Pay-for-clicks
proponents are guilty of shoplifting) strikes a very familiar
"history repeats itself" chord.
As the media matures, smart media pros will recognize the
value in branding and CPM buys on the web. The marketplace
originally guided buyers to a 70/30 split for performance vs. CPM
That will likely come to pass, but not until this
economy--which does have a significant impact on the way we
buy--starts swinging in a more confidently positive direction.
The approach by agencies, for now, is to take the path
of least resistance, even though that path leads the client to the wrong
My advice, John: Stick with it. You'll come out
Director of Client Services
Mediaplex, Inc / AdWare
With all due
respect to your opinion about not forgetting the blackout of '77, you
trivialize a world event that could be considered the most catastrophic in
U.S. history, let alone NYC. ("Lest
we forget the blackout of '77/
Commentary: Lessons from watching people
by Richard Laermer)
While not everyone physically viewed
our city crumbling, we were ALL affected by 9/11 as New Yorkers and as
A comparison to 9/11 is not a justifiable comparison. This
appears to be controversial for controversy's sake.
Your is a disappointing view of NYC.
Associate Media Director.
The editor responds: The article was a commentary and as such reflected
the author's viewpoint, not that of Media Life. But that said, I must
agree with the letter writer that the argument presented in the commentary
suffered mightily from a lapse of logic.
Question: Does Andrew Wallenstein
have any idea that Def Leppard WAS NOT A GLAM-HAIR-LIPSTICK WEARING
If he ever really followed the band, he would have realized
that the statements he made not only about Def Leppard but about the VH1
movie, "Hysteria," were not only biased by his opinion of what
music is supposed to be about but also NON-FACTUAL IN
Please do us readers a favor and do not insult our
intelligence by having some, over 50, bald, fat, moron write columns about
which he has no idea what he is writing about!
Thank you for your time and attention!
I read and enjoyed today's
article titled "As content Improves, more folks are
However, I was disappointed with the attached ranking of
"Top 25 Sites Ranked by Paid Content Revenue," compiled by
comScore Networks in association with the Online Publishers Association.
According to comScore's methodology, they utilize
a "proprietary technology network," tracking SSL transactions
among its panel of 1.1 million U.S. internet users.
This study fails to take into account the fact that a
significant portion of purchases for Economist.com subscriptions are
Also, due to the international appeal of Economist.com, a
significant percentage of our subscription revenue is from non-U.S.
The title of the ranking is misleading, since it does
not mention that this is a US-only study (although the study clearly
defines itself as "Online Paid Content - U.S. Market Report").
The title of the study itself is misleading and seems
to have been misinterpreted. By "Online Paid Content," they seem
to be referring to people transacting online for content, which is what
their methodology supports. However it is easy to see where people
would think this refers to total subscriptions for online content sites.
In your July 11th article, "Yes, folks will
pay for content," you published the "Top 25 Subscription Content
Publishers" from the Intermarket Group. We were ranked 19th overall.
This ranking more accurately reflects Economist.com's
position as a market leader in subscription-based content. The ranking
published today fails to take into account both online subscriptions
transacted offline, and non-U.S. subscriptions. I hope that you may
consider this and look forward to reading your next article.
reading Bark! for several years and was tickled to see Jeff Bercovici's
well deserved write-up.
Director of Client Services
Mediaplex, Inc / AdWare, Inc
The lonely lot of
I read your
really fun story on the Lone Liberal. Incidentally, the LL wears a
mask because he, like all liberals, is loath to admit it or to truly be
identified as a liberal.
of the PPM
"More folks listen to more radio" (7/23/2002 in Media Life
Magazine by Kevin Downey).
Kevin!! Did you write this article directly from Arbitron's
Any media planner worth his/her salt knows that the PPM is a
nefarious instrument that will, no doubt, cause the over-reporting of
Why? Because coming into contact with a radio signal does NOT
translate into actual listening.
Example: You and I catch a taxi at 8:45 a.m. at Central
Park South. We have a stimulating conversation all the way to
Surprise! Even though you are a loyal Don Imus listener (WFAN/660
AM), your PPM registered WSKQ/97.9 FM.
Why? Because the cab ride took more than sevenminutes, and
that's what the taxi driver had on his radio.
Advertisers on WSKQ have virtually no chance of reaching you
effectively with their spot schedules, but you just got counted in WSKQ's
unduplicated audience (cume) anyway.
You get the picture, I'm sure.
Collins, Haynes & Lully Advertising
The real cost of
Have you ever had one of those
moments when you see something on paper and say, "Wait a minute, that
can't be right!"
I had one of those moments when I read about KPIG
shutting down its webcasting services due to the ".07 cent per
song" royalty fee.
For those of us who work in the broadcast business but don't
deal with royalties on a daily (or even lifetime) basis, the numbers just
didn't add up for $3,000 in month royalty expenses for KPIG given .07 cent
On a straight-ahead basis, at .07 cent per song, KPIG could
readily expect to pay about $8.73 in royalties per month (approximately
12,840 songs/month times .0007). That's a far cry from $3,000 a
What isn't being said?
With a little due diligence, you can always find the missing
piece to the puzzle that brings it all together.
Essentially, for the laymen among us, a royalty is not due
for each song played by a webcaster, it is due for each time one person
hears one song played by the webcaster. If 1,000 people hear that last
song you played, you owe 70 cents. So, it is more accurate to say that
webcasters owe .07 cents per song per person listening rather than .07
cent per song.
I now see what the fuss is over. Thank you!
Client Research Services
History lesson for
I find myself
uncharacteristically compelled to comment on Jeff Bercovici's recent
article: "Send Jann an Issue of Blender/ A likely model for
Rolling Stone as it revamps."
Jeff, as you attempt to dissect the family tree of music and lad
magazines, I just couldn't help but offer a brief history lesson. I
hope you'll then see past the recent American imitators that you
mistakenly credit as original and set your sights on the truly innovative
British magazines that inspired them.
Your article says, "When Needham talks about
creating 'multiple points of entry on each page' and establishing an
'aggressive and forceful' newsstand presence, he is, in effect, describing
a music magazine that already exists." That's correct, except
the magazine that already exists is not Blender, it's called Q.
Not only is Q the template that Andy Pemberton used for
Blender, but Q has also enjoyed a sizable cult following in America among
music listeners who have been buying it on American newsstands for nearly
Then Pemberton says, "Without blowing our trumpet
too hard, we've come along and said, 'Well, you can present the
information like this, and it doesn't necessarily compromise what you're
doing.' It just makes it more enjoyable."
He apparently knows that if he DOES blow his trumpet too hard,
someone may notice that he's falsely attributing Q's innovations to
Blender. He's obviously figured out that it's easier to let you (and
perhaps some of your readers) blow his trumpet -- secure in the knowledge
that you have no familiarity with quality international magazines.
Are you not aware that Pemberton is an ex-editor of Q?
(He passed through Q's ranks long after Q's editorial voice and visual
style were developed.)
You may also not realize that Pemberton reluctantly acknowledged that he
copied Q's editorial and visual style in an interview with former
Inside.com writer Simon Dumenco.
Next, you observe, "What makes Blender fun
isn't so much the ubiquitous lists, sidebars and charticles as imaginative
features like 'Useful Tips from the Stars' and 'Dear Superstar'."
Have you ever visited an international newsstand, Jeff?
If you had you might recognize that 'Dear Superstar' is Blender's
imitation of Q's long-running 'Cash For Questions.'
I could go on to point out several other Blender column
concepts that are lifted directly from Q's pages (not to mention their
entire reviews section, including the ratings system), but I won't.
Allow me one last observation (you are, after all,
writing for "public" consumption). Your myopia seems to
extend beyond the music titles to the lad mags, as well.
I seem to recall more than a few articles where
you identify FHM as a Maxim imitator. In fact, FHM launched in
Europe in 1994, a full three years prior to the launch of Maxim.
In a now-familiar Dennis Publishing strategy (i.e., Blender
imitating Q), once Dennis witnessed FHM's unrivaled success in Europe (and
now in 15 countries worldwide), they launched Maxim and eventually brought
it to America.
If imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery, then
Dennis Publishing has flattered Emap to no end. By the way, are you
on Dennis' payroll?
I've worked in the advertising/media planning/print
world for over 14 years now, and am a huge fan of magazines. Despite
my years of industry experience, though, I do not purport to be a magazine
expert such as Samir Husni. But it doesn't take an expert like him
to spot erroneous information. In the interest of journalistic
integrity, as well as your professional reputation, I would think you'd
take it upon yourself to get your facts straight before putting them out
there for all the world to see.
Trouble with ad
problem with the reliability of any spending estimate generated by
Competitive Media Reporting, including their regular reports given to
subscribers to the service is what they use as cost benchmarks. CMR
uses rate card for print (who pays rate card, nowadays?) and if I'm not
mistaken SQAD and other cost per point services for electronic media.
They don't account for the negotiability of individual media
This means two things. CMR overestimates
media spending considerably by using benchmarks without factoring in rate
negotiation as a variable. And unless two marketers are running the
exact same schedule, CMR's spending reports have limited value as even a
relative comparison tool (Despite spending the same benchmark amount,
Company A's schedule may be intrinsically less expensive than Company B's,
if A's media contains greater weight with properties discounting more).
Not the first woman
I was interested to read Jeff Bercovici's story about Sia Michel
being the "first" woman to edit a national rock magazine.
It'd be pretty bad if there hadn't been a woman in such
a position until 2002. As it is, there were several before her.
I became editor of Creem Magazine, the national rock
magazine, in 1978. But you could make a good argument that I wasn't the
first woman to edit a rock title; Gloria Stavers was the incredibly
well-known editor of 16 Magazine way back in the early to mid '60s. That
beats out Ms. Michel by 40 years.
My Creem colleague Bill Holdship pointed out the incredible
feat you ascribe to Ms. Michel, and we both had a good laugh.
A nasty word or two
It's been a
year or so but I just wanted to comment on Andrew Wallenstein's review of
my now-defunct talk show, "A.J. After Hours."
Whoever this is....and I hope you have a direct line to
Andrew: Can you please tell him to go fuck himself. Thank you so
I can't wait to meet the pussy out one night and smack his
mouth while we discuss his pussy comments about my show.
What is it, Andrew? Does your girlfriend think I'm cute? Or, worse even,
does you boyfriend think I'm cute?
Please, please, please tell him to go fuck himself or
if he has any balls to please email me directly. Fuckin assface.
In defense of
I enjoyed reading Mr. Everitt's
June 18 article "At last, cheaper media buying software."
However his reference to our company, Marketing Resources Plus (formerly
Media Management Plus). might lead your readers to believe that we do not
serve small agencies.
Our media buying system, SmartPlus, is used by over
1,000 advertising agencies ranging from $2 to $400 million in media
billings. We scale our license fees based on agency size, the number of
markets they buy and the number of workstation they use. An entry level
system can start as low as $3,000.
Although nearly all of our clients subscribe to
ratings, some do not. SmartPlus can operate as a standalone buying
system or interface with popular media planning and agency accounting
With SmartPlus our clients start at any size and grow
at their own pace
without the time and cost of relearning a system. Some of our clients have
grown with us for over twenty years.
Marketing Resources Plus (MRP)
a VNU, Inc. Company
Right on regarding BO $s
I am in total agreement with the author about the absurdity of using box office figures in estimating anything but a movie's financial success. The gremlin known as inflation distorts the use of gross receipts as a benchmark to compare the popularity of film from not only different eras, but even from year to year. What I would really like to know is how many fannies are in the seats. How does
"The Attack of the Clones" compare with the original "Star Wars" in terms of movie goers actually paying to see it in movie theaters and how each ranks among all time blockbusters in audience quantity, not box office? To put things in perspective a movie released in an era of $10 movie tickets needs only 5 percent of the audience of a movie released when the price was 50 cents to equal its gross sales. Why doesn't someone publish audience figures?
Very silly 'Battlebots' lawsuit
Hello, I just wanted to take a few seconds and go on record to say
that whoever took the advice of the moronic spin doctor/legal advisor that
instructed the creators of "Battlebots" to sue Bud Light and DDB for the
creation of the Superbowl commercial, should be run down by rabid goats. While I'm guessing that since the suit is to force Bud Light not to
run the spots instead of for monetary gain, this was strictly a publicity stunt.....probably covered up by some whining story about intellectual
Truth be told, the creators of "Battlebots" should have
kissed the ass of the ad director that created that spot and sent a basket of
cash to the client that approved it! That 30-second spot probably did more
for the "Battlebots" brand and ratings than all of the billions of cross-network
promos Comedy Central has run over the past year or so combined. The creators should have taken it as flattery that a gigantic advertiser
like Bud Light thought enough of their creation to include it in a campaign
that undoubtedly has cost them a pretty penny......probably more spent than
any promotion that "Battlebots" will ever be likely to see again.
creators had half a brain, they would have contacted Bud Light immediately to propose a series of commercials including
"Battlebots." I know that the original one was great.....every guy I know loves it and they both have similar targets. Guys that like beer and smashing things up. So, Kudos to the creators.....they really hit one home with this one.
Youth appeal of
NBC O&O's and key Affiliates are pushing the Olympics hard.
Additionally, after work on Sunday I stopped into a graduate-student-type
pub here in Ann Arbor, and you would think the Super Bowl combined with
University of Michigan/Michigan State Basketball was on the TVs--very
involved and very exciting audience for X-Game-type events.
Louis P. Kasman
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Why we need Relix
Music industry executives love blaming Napster and similar services for
anemic sales, but the current vapid lineup of boy bands and Britney Spears
clones have more to do with it. Record company moguls seem to think that
teenagers listen to the Back Street Boys or Britney, but it is
eight-year-old girls that do.
Teenagers wouldn't get caught dead listening to such uncool stuff (except
for some musical nerds), the same way that former David Cassidy and Donnie
Osmond fans renounced their former allegiance to these performers after
they reached puberty during the heyday of FM rock.
Teens have more
disposable income to buy CDs than tweens, but they won't buy the TRL
pabulum fed to them.
Putting marketing dollars behind the type of bands Relix covers would help
revive a stagnant music industry.
Teenage taste-makers would begin buying
music again (these taste-makers have allowed performers with little or no
commercial airplay to produce platinum selling albums and sell out
concerts) and record sales and concert revenue would increase
Just read Jeff Bercovici's article on the "all new and
improved" Relix magazine and couldn't agree with his perspective on
jam bands more. Both the musicianship and the lack of trendy hype are
becoming increasingly refreshing. I forwarded his article to five
different people, all of whom are going to now check out a copy of Relix!
Feb. 4, 2002
Regarding the comments made by Felicia Minei Behr of ABC about reaching
the young demographic in
your February 4th piece on "Port Charles," this type of thinking
is going to be the downfall of the media and advertising industries if
they don't wake up soon to a few facts.
The Baby Boom generation is very likely to be offended at the
perception of being as set in their ways as their parents at the same age.
The "Greatest Generation" didn't grow up in an environment
filled with constant advertising messages and more brand competition than
ever as the Boomers have.
While the media gloats over the increasing numbers of Boomers who are
getting the AARP letter every year, it ignores the fact that Boomers are
better educated than their parents and have experienced far greater media
exposure to more vehicles than their parents did. Cable TV is enjoying
Contrary to computer industry propaganda, Boomers own
PCs, work with them and are on the internet. Unlike most of their parents,
Boomers will not be content to sit by the fire in a rocking chair, using
the same brands their parents used or even ones they used themselves when
they were in the 18-34 age group. They have more choices in every aspect
of their lives than their parents did and they will continue to exercise
their freedom of choice.
Today's 50-year-old is not the 50-year-old of 20 years ago. S/he is
always learning to keep up and to get ahead. Many are starting new
careers, getting advanced degrees, or opening their own businesses for the
The times we live in necessitate an open-mindedness previously
thought to be the sole property of extreme youth. That means a higher
incidence of brand trial and a greater propensity to consume new products
than the previous generation.
Considering also that people 50+ have
greater disposable income than an 18-24 year old, it is foolish in the
extreme to ignore this audience. Baby Boomers are just as likely to buy
new cars, new furniture, appliances, and new food products as anyone
younger. Ignore them at your own risk.
Freelance Media Supervisor
New York, N.Y.
The real problems
with online buying
reason why online media buying platforms for traditional media have not
taken off (An online classroom for placing spot
buys) is not because of the computer skill level of the buyers and sellers.
Negotiations require give and take discourse.
It not a matter of a media outlet listing rate card prices and the buyer
accepting it, which is the only way an online buying system could work.
And I'm sure the individual media companies would prefer a non-negotiated
environment. But that's not what happens in the real world.
Strong negotiators often need several conversations and proposals to
receive a media offer that remotely meets their objectives. And strong
negotiators deal with senior staff, not generic sales reps who have no
authority to cut the deals they need.
Some level of give and take can be achieved via instant messaging, but it
would not be a time saver. Most people speak much more rapidly than they
Letters To The Editor from previous years: