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Marketers Better Off Than Four Years Ago? Yes, Says ANA

Bob-LiodiceSunnier days in Orlando: The Association of National Advertisers kicked off its annual conference, “The Masters of Marketing,” with more than 2,000 attendees and upbeat predictions. Not only is attendance up by several hundred, it's the first time ever that attendance has broken the 2,000 mark.

Bob Liodice, the ANA’s president and CEO, talked about media growth, with digital up 17%, mobile up 97%, and social -- now at $4 billion -- predicted to grow to $10 billion by 2016, as well as a 6% gain in plain old television.

Borrowing a line from election coverage, he asked the audience: “Are we better off today than we were four years ago? I believe the answer is 'yes, we most certainly are.’ The growth the industry has experienced is absolutely extraordinary, and something we must keep top of mind as we step up to the next series of challenges that await our industry.”

He also addressed measurement and accountability, and while touting the industry’s 3MS, or Making Measurement Make Sense collaboration, says the ANA “wants very specific progress in brand-specific commercial ratings for television. Marketers are leaving millions of dollars on the table in lost productivity and sub-standard business decisions due to the lack of reliable ratings information.” Liodice says the association will introduce new measurement initiatives next month.

He also addressed the “fiasco” of ICANN. “We are still not confident that the Internet, going forward, is as safe as we want it to be. Importantly, we are urging ICANN to adopt a “Do Not Sell” registry to address our serious concerns over “defensive registrations.”

He also talked about self-regulation as one of the industry’s important challenges, including the trade groups' "disappointment” in Microsoft’s recent privacy decisions with the upcoming release of Internet Explorer 10. “Microsoft’s decision to set the Do Not Track feature in the “on” position will likely cause irreparable damage to the advertising industry.”

Finally, he tackled social responsibility, including the Partnership, a resource to help parents and caregivers address alcohol and drug abuse with teens and young adults.

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