Media Execs Address Rapid Pace Of Change Online

Yahoo last week stunned Wall Street with the announcement that it was seeing softness in auto and financial services ad sales--yet overall, the Internet is poised to claim 6 percent of all ad dollars this year, according to a new online ad forecast by eMarketer. That's one of the key findings that eMarketer CEO Geoff Ramsey will present today at MediaPost's OMMA Conference & Expo in New York City.

Ramsey, who serves as emcee of the conference, intends to delve into several emerging trends, ranging from the growing interest in online video to the use--and possible overuse--of blogs for marketing purposes. He also will unveil eMarketer's recent online ad spending projections, revised last week in light of Yahoo's report of slowing ad growth.

This morning's opening keynote speaker, Rishad Tobaccowala, CEO of Publicis Groupe's Denuo, intends to address the dizzying pace at which the Web continues to evolve. While most interactive media planners today have Google, YouTube, and MySpace on the radar, "two of them didn't even exist three years ago and one of them hadn't appeared in its current role," says Tobaccowala. "What sort of plan would we have had three years ago?" he asks.

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Ross Levinsohn, president of Fox Interactive Media, will deliver a second morning keynote address, titled "So, the New Content Models Have Taken Over. What Happens Next?" Immediately following his speech, Levinsohn and Tobaccowala will participate in a panel discussion addressing whether the speed of change spurred by the Web makes media planning a futile exercise. Joining them will be Joe Marchese, head of the Online Media Practice Group at Bainbridge, Inc., a research and management strategy consultancy, and Carl Fremont, executive vice president and global media director, Digitas. MediaPost Editor-in-Chief Joe Mandese will moderate.

Can media companies evolve fast enough?

This afternoon, Beth Comstock, president, Digital Media and Market Development at NBC Universal; Jim Bankoff, executive vice president, product and programming at AOL; Patrick Keane, head of sales strategy at Google; Larry Kramer, president, CBS Digital Media; and Jeff Karish, head of strategy at Yahoo Media Group will discuss whether media companies can embrace digital disciplines and emerging business models quickly enough to appeal to consumers. Vanity Fair media columnist Michael Wolff will moderate.

"We may be talking about a transformation in which one industry is going into a twilight period of obsolescence and a new industry is replacing it. They will transform or deconstruct," Wolff says. He adds that the declining quality of media might be propelling consumers to explore and experiment with new platforms and content. "It all sucks," says Wolff. "Movies suck, TV sucks, books suck. That's enabled a new kind of anti-content context to be created."

Emerging online models threaten ad business

Tuesday morning, Tim Kopp, vice president of worldwide interactive marketing for Coca-Cola, and Rex Briggs, founder and CEO of Marketing Evolution, will share a keynote address titled "Can the Marriage of Advertising and Marketing be Saved?"

Kopp and Briggs will then take part in a panel discussion addressing ways in which online content models are threatening to destroy the ad business. Joining them on the panel are Stephanie Bittner, director of brand advertising and communications, Starbucks, and James Mahoney, director of media and brand advertising, Capital One. Lydia Loizides, vice president and Director, Media and Technology Experience Analytics for The Consumer Experience Practice at Interpublic Media, will moderate.

Tuesday afternoon, Crispin Porter + Bogusky chairman Chuck Porter will deliver the keynote address, "Creative: It Ain't What it Used to Be." Porter will address key challenges facing advertising creatives--among them, the emergence of consumer control over media. Ads once lauded for their ability to interrupt and compel consumers are now panned as intrusive, rude, even unacceptable. How then can advertisers hope to engage consumers who shun content that strikes them as inauthentic?

Porter will be joined by Ty Montague, chief creative officer and co-president, JWT New York; Simon Needham, co-founder and group creative director, Attik; and Tony Granger, chief creative officer, Saatchi & Saatchi. Gregory Wilson, CEO, Red Ball Tiger, will moderate the creative panel.

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