Archive for the ‘Social Media for Brands’ Category

In March of 2015, Jon Mandel, an experienced c-level executive on Madison Avenue, declared in a keynote speech at the ANA annual conference that “kick-backs” at the advertising agency level and/or at the conglomerate holding companies who control close to 80% ownership of the world’s largest advertising agencies were pervasive, totaling in the hundreds of millions of dollars.  Mandel’s speech sent shockwaves through every side of the business associated with advertising, most prominently the top advertising brands who were allegedly being left in the dark.

When the ANA announced that it had hired two outside consultants, one with cyber security experience, to advise the ANA, the advertising industry’s largest trade organization representing brands like P&G, Unilever, AT&T and hundred more, I published a blog post on the advertising industry scandal. that Jon Mandel brought to the forefront at the ANA’s annual convention.

In my three decades working for Hollywood Studios, the largest broadcast television groups and working on Madison Avenue can I recall a more explosive event triggered by one very brave and bold individual, Jon Mandel.  Some credit has to go to the ANA board who had to have approved the content of the speech as Mandel was serving as a paid consultant at the time.

After that, the ANA went through a vetting process for consultants to investigate and recommend potential fixes to the board.  Having been a part of one of the finalist groups presenting to the ANA’s executive committee, I can attest to firsthand experience that the ANA with Jon Mandel still participating as a consultant were serious and on a timeline to advance the discussion.  The only exception I took to the ultimate approach that was being taken was making the broad discussion more open to the community who had a vested interest in findings and the outcome.

Maybe suggesting the use of social media was too progressive for this group, but I pointed out that it was the only way to let all stakeholders have a voice in the process.  So now trade journalists and industry experts are left wondering what, if anything, is going on as both the WSJ.com and Jack Meyers, industry expert, did in published stories where the headlines were:

“Seven Months Later: Smoke But No Fire”  Media Village.

After over three hundred hours of research preparing for the presentation to the ANA executive committee and Jon Mandel, I felt like I had a good understanding of the critical issues which required infographics to explain.  Without having some public debate, the industry may not hear a word from the ANA on the so called “transparency” issues, or “kick-backs”, “fraud” for years because it is complicated, heated, and almost impossible for two organizations that have so much at stake, ANA and AAAA’s, to reach consensus.ANA_Blog

Case and point where the AAAA’s, Agency’s trade group, feeling pressure made a public announcement, prematurely in my view, without the support of the ANA.  I believe I said this was the advertising industry’s version of the “Watergate Scandal.”   Because of that, I think Jon Mandel should get the book rights and play himself in the movie to a story that is destined to get published.

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  1. It is easier to be proactive when you are still ahead versus putting an entire sector in jeopardy like local newspapers when they failed to respond to the Craigslist threat.

  2. Invest a portion of political windfall in development of news brand extensions to internet, mobile and social network channels.

  3. Build an alternate approach approach to develop new insights about news consumption from internet and social media networks like Forrester’s Groundswell and technographics research approaches.

  4. Develop incubation for multi-media advertising strategies incorporating local TV and social media to guide local advertiser strategies.

  5. Invest in ongoing cultural transformation to understand social media both as a strategy for news, marketing and sales, but also to stay in tune with the competitive threats caused by changes in consumer media consumption.

  6. Intensify proactive approach using internal and external resources to maintain a competitive advantage that it owned before technology disruptions.


Political candidates have used media megaphones to recruit voters, presidential candidates the most prominent . Local TV has held the biggest megaphone throughout the modern political era of the last half of the 20th and 21st centuries.


In 2016, local TV stations are expected to receive staggering ad buys approaching $4.5 billion.   For the first time digital is expect to exceed $1 billion in political spend, an increase due mainly to the explosion of consumer usage of video on the internet-desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile.  The internet spend is 625% more than political spend on the internet in 2012.  Research experts project that by the 2020 election the internet figure will increase to $3.3 billion, 330% higher than the 2016 projection.


Many Americans feared that political advertising created an unfair advantage for deep pocketed candidates, defeating the cornerstones of US democracy which is debate over issues and the voters hold the ultimate power.  The debate over campaign finance reform made it all the way to the Supreme Court in 2010 where landmark Supreme Court case, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission. The biggest winner was local TV stations who were willing and ready accept more political and issue advertising. Looser guidelines unleased budgets that defied logic and had no correlation to average media value on local TV. The 2010 Supreme Court decision allowed corporations and other politically motivated organizations to expend unlimited funds supporting political influence and issue ballots. Like plenty of Americans, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg detested the ruling:

“I think the notion that we have all the democracy that money can buy strays so far from what our democracy is supposed to be.”

Since the 2008 presidential election, dubbed the Facebook Election, where a virtually unknown Barack Obama changed campaign strategies that were more likened to social media tenets of 1-1 relationships and crowd sourcing than the traditional campaign strategy of running more TV spots than your opponent.

How could local TV stations learn from President Obama’s CRM strategy?  For one, by listening to consumers in “real time.”.  Obama campaign manager Jim Messina explained his tactics during the run up to the 2008 and 2012 elections:

“Measure every single thing in the campaign.”

Political advertising is following the basic marketing premise of following the audience.  Case and point that media consumption has changed forever can be explained by the video traffic growth in the past year when it was added to the platform: Today, Facebook has 8 billion video views per day, a number that grew in 2015 from 4 billion to 8 billion between April and November, 2015.  Facebook also offers political advertisers the Achilles heel of local broadcast TV, geo-targeting.

Like customers, voters embrace social media because it is interactive, immediate, visual, multiplatform, and listens to local voices in “real time.”  Political campaigns like social media because of its scale, personal connection with consumer, offers feedback, offers a distribution method that pushes and pulls information.




You Tube & Facebook on Top of Video

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