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Media Beat

Deutsch CEO Linda Sawyer: Advertising is an ‘Industry Under Siege’

Deutsch CEO Linda Sawyer is back in part deux of her Media Beat discussion with Mediabistro founder Laurel Touby. Here, the chief exec weighs in on the ad industry’s recovery, successful clients and the potential of a major agency becoming purely digital. Choice quote: “There are too many advertising agencies today.”

More: “Media Beat: Abby Klaassen Takes On Offensive Ads

Deutsch CEO Linda Sawyer on Getting There and Her Leadership Style

We present to you another edition of Media Beat, Mediabistro’s weekly interview series with high-profile media professionals. Seeing as it’s Advertising Week and all, what better time than to roll out this three-part conversation with Linda Sawyer, who has served as CEO of Deutsch since 2005.

In this first installment, Sawyer tells Mediabistro founder Laurel Touby how she got into the advertising business, what her vision is for Deutsch and her leadership style.

More: “Media Beat: Gerry Graf on the Legend of Cliff Freeman

Lynne Johnson on the Importance of Code and Culture Switching

We started off the third segment of our interview with Lynne Johnson, SVP of social media at the Advertising Research Foundation, discussing code and culture switching. Johnson says that this practice, which boils down to using different voices (vernacular, lingo, vocabulary) when communicating with culturally diverse segments of a particular market, is vital to an adept social media strategy.

But what about when one culture borrows for another in the name of humor? Take Toyota’s ‘Swagger Wagon‘ &#151 prominent blogger KissMyBlackAds wrote of the ad, “Is this a cool comedic concept or a mindless modern mockery?”

“It’s totally misappropriating what swag is,” added Johnson. “Swag is Jay-z.”

The problem facing brands is determining how to appeal to a broad audience without being overtly offensive or, on the flip side, mundane. So, can a brand make everyone happy? Johnson says no way. She believes the 2010 Census will change how agencies perceive their clients’ target markets. “It is going to get tricky because the mainstream might be minorities…so what does mainstream look like?”

Lynne Johnson explores “How We Manage Social Media” in her upcoming panel discussion at Mediabistro Circus on May 20 in New York.

Part 1: Lynne Johnson Explains the Advertising Research Foundation’s Role

Part 2: Highly-tuned Privacy Laws a “Potentially Scary Road” for Advertisers

Part 3: Lynne Johnson on the Importance of Code and Culture Switching

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Highly-tuned Privacy Laws a “Potentially Scary Road” for Advertisers

Lynne Johnson is the SVP of social media at the Advertising Research Foundation. The ARF is paying close attention to the privacy issues concerning Facebook, and understands the implications of a more private system.

“The whole idea of Facebook is to be able to better target a consumer,” said Johnson, “so of course an advertiser wants as much information as possible.”

Though Facebook hasn’t proven it’s advertising model yet, she continued, it’s a prime opportunity for advertisers to really target. So if the Web becomes a closed network due to privacy concerns, “that’s potentially a scary road,” she said. “The ARF are not a lobbying group in any sort of way, but we have members that h ave advocates in D.C. who would look to work with Sen. Rick Boucher on (his privacy) bill.”

Lynne Johnson explores “How We Manage Social Media” in her upcoming panel discussion at Mediabistro Circus on May 20 in New York.

Part 1: Lynne Johnson Explains the Advertising Research Foundation’s Role

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Lynne Johnson Explains the Advertising Research Foundation’s Role

Lynne Johnson is the SVP of social media at the Advertising Research Foundation, the organization founded 75 years ago to help agencies improve their research efforts. But what are they doing in 2010?

Johnson explains in the first part of our three part series that since 2008 the ARF has increased its focus on social media. The first step was hiring Johnson, who came from Fast Company and today helps the organization deliver on what constituents want and need. “I’m called into almost every meeting because there’s a social media aspect to everything we do,” she said.

Responding to member needs is also part of her job, as is teaching advertisers about the practice. It’s an important role considering the rate at which agencies are seeking to increase their social offerings.

Lynne Johnson explores “How We Manage Social Media” in her upcoming panel discussion at Mediabistro Circus on May 20 in New York.

Part 2: Highly-tuned Privacy Laws a “Potentially Scary Road” for Advertisers

Part 3: Lynne Johnson on the Importance of Code and Culture Switching

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Media Beat: Abbey Klaassen on Ad Age’s Early Move Into Pay Walls

While The New York Times is reportedly experimenting with a pay wall for its web site, the folks at Advertising Age actually adopted one for their campaign hubs, Creativity and AdCritic, years ago. In the final installment of our Media Beat interview, executive editor Abbey Klaassen says it’s been a trial-and-error pay wall strategy with those offshoots, which began as “locked down” content and switched to a free model before reverting back to paid access.

“The strategy was let’s go seven days free and after that, you hit a pay wall,” she explains. “That wasn’t an economic model that worked for us, so we’re trying to find a happy medium here.”

Watch the video to find out which online business model the brand ultimately adopted and get Klaassen’s advice for bloggers looking to lure advertisers.

PART 1: Media Beat: Abbey Klaassen on the Future of Super Bowl Ads

PART 2: Media Beat: Abbey Klaassen Takes on Offensive Ads

Media Beat: Abbey Klaassen Takes on Offensive Ads

If you peruse AgencySpy on a given day, you’ll realize advertising has a favorite fall-back when it comes to eye-catching campaigns: T&A. So, what’s it like as a woman covering a somewhat sexist industry? For Advertising Age‘s executive editor Abbey Klaassen, it’s pretty simple: if advertisers are offensive, call ‘em out.

Watch the second installment of our Media Beat interview to hear how Klaassen transitioned from Ad Age‘s digital to executive editor and get her tips for freelance writers looking to score a byline in the trade pub.

PART 1: Media Beat: Abbey Klaassen on the Future of Super Bowl Ads

PART 3: On Wednesday, Klaassen gives tips to advertisers looking to fend off competition from Google.

Media Beat: Abbey Klaassen on the Future of Super Bowl Ads

Remember when the whole family crowded around the set for The Cosby Show or you got your roommates together for those Melrose Place viewing parties? Nowadays, you can probably count the number of television “events” on one hand. There is one program, however, that still gets a crazy number of eyeballs every year during its live broadcast: Super Bowl.

For the latest installment of Media Beat, we spoke with Advertising Age‘s executive editor Abbey Klaassen for her take on how advertisers can maximize their campaigns after the game and whether we’ll ever get DVR-proof commercials.

PART 2: Tomorrow, Klaassen discusses her new role as executive editor of Advertising Age and how you can land a byline in her pages.

PART 3: On Wednesday, Klaassen gives tips to advertisers looking to fend off competition from Google.

Media Beat: Gerry Graf on How Crappy Pre-Roll Ads Are, Sometimes

In this third and final segment of our interview with Saatchi & Saatchi CCO Gerry Graf, we discuss the effectiveness of pre-roll. Graf for one says he’s not seen an increase in requests for what he described as bad TV spots on the Web.

“It’s pretty much the same as a TV commercial,” noted Graf, “most of them are pretty boring so if they’re boring they’re annoying as hell.” Asked if Saatchi’s clients have asked for more Web ads, like pre-roll, Graf said not at all.

According to a NYTimes report, advertising clients spent $477 million on Web and pre-roll video in 2009. So what does it mean that Saatchi hasn’t seen any of that? “Maybe we’re behind in the pre-roll category,” said Graf.

He also tells a joke at the end you may want to see. At least, if you enjoy laughing.

Media Beat:Gerry Graf ‘I don’t know if everything’s been done’

Media Beat: Gerry Graf “I don’t know if ‘everything’s’ been done”

In part two of our three part interview series with Saatchi & Saatchi New York Chief Creative Officer Gerry Graf, we talk about his agency’s pitch for the Pizza Hut account. At the time of this interview, Saatchi was still pitching for the business, which has since been awarded to the Martin Agency. Oopsies.

Graf’s most revealing comment: “I don’t know if everything’s been done” &#151 in regards to how to come up with a convincing pitch for a client that’s probably seen and heard it all. If there’s one thing we hear over and over, it’s that everything that can be done in advertising, has been done. All else is just some amalgamation of a previous effort.

Asked what it takes to win an account like this, “You need a great idea, I think,” he said. “That’s the first thing you need. The next is an idea that they haven’t come up with in the 25 years that they’ve been doing Pizza Hut.”

We attempted to get him to reveal more, but since Graf isn’t one to let much slip the best we could get was that he likes the ‘makin it great’ slogan from yesterdecade.

Asked where business-winning ideas come from (I know, I know &#151 we’re trying to gear this thing for people interested in getting into the business of advertising), said Graf, “It’s always for me the same thing, ‘why is this different from everybody else.’”

In our opinion, Pizza Hut isn’t any different than Papa John’s or Domino’s &#151 at the end of the day their food is no better or worse &#151 which must make the job of trying to win their business impossible. It certainly explains Crispin’s efforts to revamp Domino’s image. Nonetheless, check back tomorrow for part three when we’ll discuss the woes of working with Web video.

Media Beat: Gerry Graf on the Legend of Cliff Freeman

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