Our Media Services division is the hub of many AAAA activities. Working closely with 16 media-related committees, this division regularly informs our membership on critical media issues, produces numerous publications, and programs the largest AAAA national conference—the Media Conference & Tradeshow. Additionally, as new and emerging media seek to become advertising-supported, the AAAA works closely with other trade groups to develop industry-supported guidelines. Major accomplishments during 2007 included:
AAAA Media Conference & Tradeshow
Our Media Conference & Tradeshow continues to grow in attendance and importance within the industry. The 2007 Conference, held in Las Vegas, had record attendance of more than 1,500 and more Tradeshow exhibitors than ever before. Top-tier speakers included Jim Stengel, The Procter & Gamble Company; Mich Mathews, Microsoft; and Ted Leonsis, AOL.
Agencies and media agree that buying and selling practices need to change. In 2007, approximately 60 participants across all media and representing the major agency groups met to work toward creating a common language and set of uniform business practices in how to buy, sell and steward media.
The recommendations of this group were to create two re-engineering teams—one for spot TV and one for Internet—to re-invent business practices and create a Definitions & Standards Committee via the AAAA that deals with all media. Meetings were held with the heads of media agencies and trade associations. These discussion groups currently are being formed, and within the first six months of 2008 will develop detailed implementation plans that will fundamentally impact how we do business.
Highlighted Industry Positions and Initiatives
Change in Magazine Average Audience Reporting: In February, the AAAA Media Research Committee met with MediaMark Research (MRI) to discuss why MRI includes online-only audiences when reporting magazine average audiences, because online-only editions sometimes have different advertising. As a result, MRI announced that, with Wave 56, they will only report hardcopy or hardcopy/online readers in their average issue audience numbers.
Webinars: In October, Quantcast, a new-media measurement service free to agencies, presented a Webinar for the Mid-Sized Agency Media Directors Committee.
The AAAA released “Guide to Digital Video Platforms for the Advertising Professional” in September. This publication addresses current digital video options as well as new ad units and models, and measurement. An AAAA best-seller, this book is an insightful guide to the breadth and scope of digital video. Various media-related Bulletins released in 2007 included:
Industry Compliance With AAAA On-Demand Guidelines: The AAAA Digital Video Innovation Committee met with trade groups, video program distributors, cable/satellite/telecom operators, technology enablers and research intermediaries to discuss guidelines and encourage compliance. The Committee then developed a progress report on each platform’s compliance with the guidelines.
Survey of Online Media Exchange Companies: To better understand the burgeoning online media exchange industry, a survey was conducted to learn more about these companies’ capabilities.
Election Year 2008: The huge national and regional media buys expected to accompany the 2008 presidential election, the record number of issue-advocacy ads expected to run, and the unusual number of hotly contested Senate, House and gubernatorial races could result in significant shortages—and increased costs—of broadcast and other ad space in many cities and states during the next 12 months.