Radio Execs Speak At AdWeek Event
September 26, 2008 at 5:26 AM (PT)
Top executives at leading radio companies acknowledged WEDNESDAY the industry's rocky times, but attributed it more to perception than reality. Advertisers have failed to appreciate the appealing content and marketing opportunities that radio offers, they said, reports MEDIAPOST.COM.
"We don't have much leverage because there's a perception that somehow radio is dated or radio has lost its fastball," said CLEAR CHANNEL Pres./CEO JOHN HOGAN. But HOGAN, who spoke at an ADVERTISING WEEK event, said radio offers content that connects to consumers in a personal, emotional, immediate way -- and ad agencies don't realize that radio holds its audience better than other mediums.
We don't have much leverage because there's a perception that somehow radio is dated or radio has lost its fastball.
"We have a perception problem, not a consumption problem," said EMMIS Pres./CEO JEFF SMULYAN. "On MADISON AVENUE, radio may be considered a dinosaur," but that's not the case "on Main Street." Top radio executives have spoken about the perception deficit before.
Executives said that in small markets, advertisers continue to use radio effectively for calls to action, but ad buyers have turned away in major markets. "In the larger markets, people have lost sight of our ability to engage people," SMULYAN said. "And that's what we've got to get back."
CITADEL CEO FARID SULEMAN said advertisers fail to appreciate radio's potential beyond retail spots. "Radio is a great branding mechanism," he said.
The industry is running a "Radio Heard Here" image campaign looking to address some of its perceived shortfalls.
The medium's level of engagement is "something that an iPOD or satellite radio couldn't capture in a million years," said CBS RADIO Pres./CEO DAN MASON.
One reason the industry may be suffering among advertisers is that creative talent pooh-poohs it, and many have little interest in writing copy or working in it. Lackluster creative can have a trickle-down effect, leading to displeased clients and lower spending. GREATER MEDIA Pres./CEO PETER SMYTH said the industry needs to find a way to get young creatives more excited about the business.
The industry itself also needs to offer advertisers more out-of-the-box marketing opportunities, the executives said. Some of those could come from the various new technologies the business is moving into -- such as streaming on the Internet, and on mobile devices. MASON said, for example, that NEW YORK's fabled News WINS-A could one day be offered in 10 different forms and across the globe.
SMULYAN is fighting for a potential breakthrough: a radio tuner in every portable phone.