Saturday, March 25, 2006

Industry News: Hard Sell coming to a theater near you

Industry News: Hard Sell coming to a theater near you

Former Pfizer sales rep Jamie Reidy's memoir "Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman," will form the basis for a fictionalized film about the pharmaceutical supply business, according to a report in the Hollywood trade publication Variety.

The book is a "witty exposé" of the pharmaceutical industry that reveals the questionable practices of drug reps, nurses, and physicians, according to the book's publisher, Andrews McMeel Publishing, based in Riverside, NJ. In the book, Reidy traces his ups and downs as a sales rep for giant drug manufacturer Pfizer, maker of some of the most widely prescribed and used drugs in existence, including Viagra.

The film version of the book will be set at a fictionalized company, according to Variety. Universal studios producers reportedly purchased the rights to the book for an amount in the "high-six figures."

buzz this

WebMD acquires Internet rival

WebMD acquires Internet rival

WebMD Health Corporation, a leading provider of health information services to consumers and physicians and parent company of the consumer Web site, has acquired, Inc., an online publisher of medical reference information for physicians and other healthcare professionals. The purchase price was $25.5 million.

"The acquisition of complements WebMD's current offerings for physicians and health care professionals," said CEO Wayne Gattinellain in a statement. " will strengthen our reach and expand the breadth and depth of our online clinical reference information."

Integration of sales, technology, and editorial infrastructure is expected to be completed in late 2006.

buzz this

Group takes aim at prescription drug ads

Group takes aim at prescription drug ads

Commercial Alert, a nonprofit organization that takes aim at over-commercialization, has launched a new Web site devoted to ending direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising in the U.S. "The purpose of the website is to educate the public about the dangers of prescription drug advertising, and to mobilize thousands of Americans to voice their opposition to the ads," the organization said in a statement.  Visitors to the site ( can send an e-mail to members of Congress urging them to "stop DTC prescription drug ads before they create another Vioxx catastrophe." The sender must provide information including his or her name, address, and e-mail address, which the organization uses to add an electronic signature and to forward the e-mail to the correct representative.

buzz this

Friday, March 24, 2006

Web, Health, and Marketing Stories from This Week

Internet users visit search engines as often as other sites


  According to an eMarketer report, Internet users visit search engine Web sites as often as they visit other types of sites, reports Advertising Age. By the fourth quarter of 2005, search sites accounted for 24% of consumer visits, which is about equal to the percentage of visits to each of the other three types of Web sites--content, communications, and e-commerce. Also, about 11.8% of the Web sites they visited were search sites. Despite the high number of site visits, the actual amount of time users spent on search sites was small--just 4.7% of their time online. According to the report's author, the small amount of time actually spent on search sites is a testament to their success because it shows that users are quickly finding what they're searching for. Consumer searches are also becoming more complex, says the report. As consumers get better at search, their search terms move beyond one or two keywords and they look at more results than just what's on the first page, reports Ad Age.


E-mails sent on Friday get best open rates, says another study

Another study is showing that e-mails sent on Friday get better open rates. Friday had the highest average open rate for fourteen months straight, according to the ExactTarget study of 2.7 billion e-mail messages. These findings match those of another study from online marketing firm eROI (ePharm5, 2/2/06) that showed the success of Friday e-mailing. The ExactTarget study also showed that the click-through rates were 25% higher on weekends than during the week. However, only 14.3% of e-mails are sent on Fridays, 4.9% are sent on Saturdays, and 3% are sent on Sundays, compared to 24.5% that are sent on Tuesdays. According to ExactTarget, because fewer marketers send e-mails on Fridays and the weekend, the odds of getting a consumer's attention on those days are greater.

Survey reveals baby boomer attitudes about Rx, health

A new survey from the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), which counts Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson as clients, attempts to dig into baby boomers' attitudes and behaviors surrounding health. NMI shared data from its new Healthy Aging/Boomer Database with ePharm5. It shows that only 23% of boomers strongly or somewhat agree that they have asked their doctor to prescribe a specific prescription drug brand after seeing an advertisement for it. Although only 35% of boomers strongly or somewhat agree that taking prescription drugs is a primary way to promote healthy aging, 80% strongly or somewhat agree that they would rather use vitamins, minerals, and nutritional supplements than prescription drugs to stay healthy. And although retirement may be looming for some boomers, only 58% say they are aware of Part D.

Pharmas among highest ad spenders, Internet spending soars

With $4.2 billion in spending, prescription drugs and pharmaceuticals were the third-highest product category for ad spending in 2005, a 2.4% increase over the year before, according to Nielsen Media Research. Procter & Gamble was the highest overall ad spender, despite a 1.3% decrease in spending from the year before. Johnson & Johnson was also ranked among the top ten ad spenders, ranking sixth overall and spending just 0.2% more than last year. The Nielsen data also shows that the Internet experienced 23.3% growth in 2005 over 2004, the largest jump of any media. Spanish language TV ranked next, growing 16.9%, followed by cable TV, which grew 11% since the year before.

Pharma group adds upgrades, ad campaign for clinical trial site

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) has upgraded its clinical trials Web site and launched a two-month advertising campaign on Google and Yahoo!, IFPMA reports. With the new site additions, users can search for clinical trial data in English, German, French, Japanese, and Spanish, and more languages may be added. The Web site has also expanded its search capability, allowing users to perform searches with multiple criteria and by geographical area, says IFPMA. The ad campaign on Google and Yahoo! will provide a link to the new Web site to users who type clinical trial-related search terms into these engines.

Pharma sites below average in interactivity, above in content

Pharma Web sites are below average in their technology and interactivity and above average in design, content, copywriting, and ease-of-use. That's according to a 10-year benchmarking study of Web development trends based on nearly 10,000 site evaluations across 80 industries from the Web Marketing Association. Based on scores out of a possible 10 points, pharma sites from 2003-2005 scored 7.7 in copywriting, 7.6 in content, 7.3 in design, 7.5 in ease-of-use, and 6.3 in innovation, all of which were above average or average compared to other industries. However, pharma sites scored 6.6 in interactivity, below the average of 6.8, and 6.3 in technology, below the average of 6.5. According to the survey, design and ease-of-use have the biggest effect on a Web site's overall rating. Learn more on the Web Marketing Association's Web site.

Cold medicine branding spins caring message from tricycles

In Chile, Andromaco Pharma spins branding for its cold and flu medication by plastering the medication's name, Cotibin, on adult-sized trikes that pedal around in the rain to hand out rain gear. According to, communications agency Mediaedge:cia created the campaign to help consumers stranded by rain and flooding during the rainy season. To make sure that the heavily branded bikes got in the press, the agency identified where media would most likely set up to broadcast the news of the floods and rain, and placed the trikes there. The branded bikes have appeared on national TV stations and in print media. Mediaedge:cia also designed a point-of-purchase campaign for Cotibin that increased sales by 500% against an average of 40% during the cold and flu season, the agency reports.






buzz this

Do you understand this DTC ad? If so, Merck will ask FDA's approval

Do you understand this DTC ad? If so, Merck will ask FDA's approval

Advertising Age via NewsEdge Corporation :

Pharmaceutical marketer Merck is developing a research protocol in which direct-to-consumer broadcast spots presubmitted to the Food and Drug Administration for review will include tests evaluating whether consumers understand the message.

The plan is still in development, but the foundation is set: Merck plans to bring in randomly selected consumers, expose them to the advertising and assess how well they can recall and understand the condition the drug is intended to treat; essential information about the drug's risks and benefits; and whether they felt the ads were false or misleading.

``We're a data-driven industry, FDA is a data-driven agency,' said Ed Slaughter, manager-consumer marketing at Merck. ``It carries with it the potential of facilitating the review process.'

The $4 billion DTC industry has been under public and political pressure since late 2004 when Merck was forced to take its anti-arthritis drug Vioxx off the market after studies showed an increased risk of heart attacks. Critics charged that heavy advertising of Vioxx contributed to it being over-prescribed.

Drug makers must presubmit ads to the FDA's Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising and Communications under a code of conduct issued by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Merck's consumer research ``is not required under the code, but companies are certainly encouraged to provide additional information,' said PhRMA VP-Communicatons Ken Johnson. Merck spends more than $400 million annually on advertising marketing such brands as Fosamax, Singulair, Zocor and Vytorin (co-marketed with Schering Plough). Mr. Slaughter said that if Merck's data showed an overwhelming amount of consumers were confused or didn't understand the risk/benefit information, the company would take the spots back to its ad agency before even submitting the campaign for review.

``Clearly we don't want to be putting things out that are non-communicative,' he said. ``But I hope it would be the rare case that we got to a final cut to find out that something wasn't working.'

DDMAC agreed to provide technical assistance to Merck on developing the system. Once finished, Merck said it would make the protocol available to competitors .

`a useful tool'

Whether it expedites the review process remains to be seen. ``While we don't know if development of this protocol will result in any changes to DDMAC's current review policies,' said Thomas Abrams, director of DDMAC, ``if successful the protocol could be a useful tool for facilitating review of ... advertisements.'

Peter Lurie, deputy director of Washington advocacy group Public Citizen, disagrees. ``The data would be far more convincing if it came from a disinterested party,' he said.

Mr. Slaughter responded: ``That's part of the reason why we went to FDA for technical assistance. It's not like we developed this on our own. We went to the people responsible for viewing the ads and asked their advice on how to put it together.'

<<Advertising Age -- 03/09/06>>


buzz this

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Contextually targeted ads more likely to drive consumer clicks


Contextually targeted ads more likely to drive consumer clicks

Consumers are more likely to respond to contextually targeted online ads than demographic, geographic, or behaviorally targeted ads, according to a survey by market research firm Synovate. In the survey of 1,000 adults, 62% said they were likely to respond to contextual ads, 28% said they were likely to respond to demographic targeting, 24% said geographic targeting, and only 18% said behavioral. The survey also showed that women were slightly more likely to respond to contextual targeting than men (63% vs. 60%). Age also played a factor in consumer responsiveness to targeted ads. Behavioral targeting was three times more popular among people aged 35-44 than those aged 18-24 and demographic targeting was almost twice as important to the older group, according to the survey. Synovate conducted the survey for online media and marketing firm Vendare Media.



Consumers Twice as Likely to Click When Contextual Targeting is in Play, New Traffic Marketplace Targeting Study Reveals; Three-Fifths Say 'Subject Matter' Matters Most in Online Advertising; Other Forms of Targeting Also Popular with Affluent Consumers

Business Wire via NewsEdge Corporation

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 21, 2006--Engage consumers' interest and they'll click your ad - and among the best ways to pique their interest is to link ads to subjects consumers care about.

That's the principal finding of a new nationwide survey of consumer attitudes online, conducted among 1,000 adults in late January by market researcher Synovate for Traffic Marketplace, the ad network division of Vendare Media ( and a premier Internet ad distribution network. Three out of five adults prefer contextual targeting - more than double the number who respond best to demographic, geographic or behavioral targeting.

When asked about the type of targeted online ad they are likely to respond to, 62 percent of consumers cited contextual -- "a subject of particular interest to you." That's more than twice the number who engage based on demographic criteria (28 percent) -- "a specific group you may be a member of." While local is all the rage - at least in terms of search -- just 24 percent of those surveyed said they respond most to geographic targeting ("businesses in your local community"); 18 percent said they were most apt to respond to behavioral targeting (ads based on "your past behavior on a given website").

The market remains fluid, however. In what may be an indication of the state of consumer sophistication about targeting in general, fully one-third of respondents weren't sure or had no opinion on what method moves them most.

"When you present advertising on top-of-mind topics, consumers respond," said Lynn D'Alessandro, Vice President, Sales, for Vendare Media's Traffic Marketplace. "Contextual advertising matches your messaging with pages on related topics, and you can't really get any more relevant than that."

Although contextual advertising is consumers' number one choice across the board, it's far from the only way to reach the affluent, well-educated consumers that advertisers prize. Those with annual household incomes above $75,000 and those with post-graduate degrees are roughly twice as likely to respond to demographic, geographic and behavioral targeting as their counterparts at the bottom income and educational levels. Women are slightly more likely to respond to contextual targeting than men (63 percent to 60 percent).

"Targeting isn't an either-or decision, so it's best to mix and match targeting tactics -- especially when it comes to educated, prosperous consumers who simply won't respond to messages that aren't personally relevant," D'Alessandro said. "If your messaging says 'we know what's on your mind,' plus 'we are you,' 'we are where you live,' and 'we are ready to handle your online needs,' you have four good shots at reaching your best customers."

Among other findings of note:

-- Contextual targeting varies according to racial makeup: 72 percent of nonwhites respond to relevant subject matter, against 60 percent of whites.

-- Those employed part time are significantly more likely to respond to demographic targeting than those in any other employment category (by as much as a 15 point margin)

-- Demographic targeting is nearly twice as important to those in the 35-44 age bracket as to those ages 18-24.

-- Geographic/local targeting is second only to contextual among those in the West, while demographic targeting is relatively more appealing among those in the Northeast, the Midwest and the South.

-- Behavioral targeting was three times more popular among the 35-44 age group than with the 18-24 crowd.

Traffic Marketplace offers InFocus(TM), the industry's first integrated targeting solution that leverages all four methods: contextual, demographic, geographic and behavioral. Powering the integrated suite of services is Vendare Media's top-ranked proprietary and extended media networks, which provide access to more than 50 percent of the Internet.

For a copy of the survey data, please send an email request to:

About Vendare Media

Vendare Media is a leading online media and marketing company providing solutions for brand marketers, direct marketers and web publishers. Reaching more than 120 million consumers worldwide every month through its proprietary and extended media networks, Vendare Media provides advertisers and publishers with a suite of online solutions including display advertising, co-registration marketing, email marketing, search marketing, promotions and advergaming. The company, founded in 1999, is majority-owned by Idealab, a leading creator and operator of technology businesses.

Vendare Media, which employs some 200 people, is headquartered at 2101 Rosecrans Ave., El Segundo, Calif., 90245, with additional offices in San Francisco and New York City. The company can be reached at 310-647-6000, or on the Web at


buzz this



78% Say Effectiveness Is Diminishing; Clutter, DVRs to Blame

March 22, 2006

By Abbey Klaassen

NEW YORK ( -- Major brand advertisers responsible for $20 billion in ad spending are losing confidence in the effectiveness of TV advertising. More than three out of four advertisers -- 78% to be exact -- said they have less confidence today in the effectiveness of TV advertising than they did two years ago, according to a survey released at today’s Association of National Advertisers TV Ad Forum.

The study asked 133 national advertisers representing more than $20 billion in ad dollars about their attitudes toward TV advertising and how new technologies such as digital video recorders and video on demand will have on their TV ad budgets.

Almost 70% of advertisers believe DVRs and VOD will reduce or destroy the effectiveness of traditional 30-second commercials. Instead, they are looking at alternatives such as branded entertainment within TV programs (61%), TV program sponsorships (55%), interactive advertising during TV programs (48%), online video ads (45%) and product placement (44%).

Web, search marketing
Additionally, 80% will spend more of their advertising budgets on Web advertising and 68% are looking into search engine marketing.

Forrester VP Josh Bernoff addressed the advertisers at the forum, explaining that Forrester is very confident in pegging current DVR penetration at 10%. The biggest news, however, is that it is poised for a rapid growth spurt, thanks to cable and satellite operators’ pushing the set top boxes and reducing the prices. By 2010, 43 million households -- 40% of the U.S. -- will have DVRs.

He described agencies and advertisers as “hard-nosed” and “focused on data” and said that while the advance of DVRs doesn’t spell the end of TV’s 30-second spots, it will incite a change.

Little real change
Yet for all of advertisers’ blustering talk about DVRs and the decreased efficacy of TV, there has been little real change. Even today, when Mr. Bernoff asked advertisers via an instant electronic polling system what they believed would be the most promising video advertising vehicle of the future, 22% thought it was regular TV, making it the second most popular choice. Interactive TV was the leader, with 31%, and in third place with 21% was Internet video. Cable VOD was fourth with 16%.

When instantly polled as to the biggest threat to TV, 48% of advertisers resoundingly called commercial clutter the top threat, followed by 17% who feared DVR ad skipping.

Prove viewers watch DVR ads
Other speakers at the forum echoed Mr. Bernoff’s thoughts about the impact of DVRs. Kia Motors Chief Marketing Officer Ian Beavis, who famously struck network TV from Mitsubishi’s media mix when he was leading marketing at the struggling auto brand, said he’s yet to see proof that viewers watch time-shifted ads.

“Prove to us they really are watching them and we’ll pay for it,” he charged the TV network executives in attendance.

Mr. Beavis also defended his decision to pull Mistubishi's TV advertising spending and blamed the automaker's subsequent sales problems on the product. He held up the Mazda 5 as an example of an auto marketer that achieved sales success without using TV in the media mix.

He urged advertisers to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk. “Don’t get up and bitch and moan and then do the same thing you’ve always done,” he said. “Do the right thing to do for that brand at that particular time.”


buzz this

Video And The Online Paradigm

Video And The Online Paradigm

ONLINE INTERACTIONS are generally ruled by the left brain, the logical side of our intellect. We interact in what is primarily a text-based presentation. We read, rather than feel. We assimilate words, rather than absorb sights and sounds. Any moves to bring the emotions of the right brain to the Web have been feeble at best. Generally, we interact with most Web sites the same way we did in 1996. We read text, we click on links, we glance at the occasional graphic. For the most part, our right brain is idling.

Next week's OMMA show in Hollywood will be looking forward to the day when our emotions will rule how we interact online (among other things). It marks an oncoming convergence that is far more important than the combining of digital media and the Internet. What will be explored and debated in the meeting rooms of the HiltonUniversalCity is a medium that engages both the right brain and left brain, in equal measure, at the same time.

Video Search: The Tip of the Iceberg

Next week, I'll be moderating a session on Video Search at OMMA Hollywood. In assembling the panel, my initial inclination was to bring the latest in video search optimization techniques to the audience, highlighting the tactics that could put you on top of the video search engines. But there was a deeper question here, and one that I wanted to explore.

I've written before about interactive video authoring. MSN is working on the technology, and they'll be talking about it on the panel. After my column ran, other companies such as Vimation (also joining us), Videoclix and Click TV let me know about the work they've been doing in the field.

Defining Online Engagement

The whole question of how our brains engage when we act online fascinates me. How do our emotions kick in to frame the context inside of which we'll interact with a site? How is that initial emotional evaluation (see the 50 Millisecond Judgment) impact our further, more logical interactions with the site, as we begin reading the content and assimilating it? Right now, it appears that in less time than the blink of an eye, the right brain renders an opinion of a site based on its aesthetic appeal, and that opinion is either reinforced by the content, or continues to be at odds with it, as the left brain digests that content.

This is the way we currently interact. One of the questions we're struggling with in online marketing is defining engagement. My belief is that the most powerful medium for engagement is the one that most fully engages the senses. I believe we're more fully engaged when our emotions rule us, when the right brain is in control. For my money, there is no more powerful medium than a truly superb movie, seen at a theater. For that reason, it's appropriate that we'll be wrestling with this question in Hollywood, the home of movies, in a venue a stone's throw from Universal Studios.

This is not to say that words aren't powerful. Novels can move us to tears. Words can find a connection through our intellect, allowing us to render tremendously engaging concepts, made all the more real because we visualize them internally. But the engagement is more subtle, and happens over time. A novel can't assault our senses the same way a movie can, because the creators of the movie have hardwired the imagery and emotion directly to our senses, rendering the story for us (I leave aside the question of which is the more fulfilling experience). Also, we don't read online the way we do a novel. We scan, we pick up snippets of information, and we don't allow ourselves to be immersed in the act of reading. We are multitasking, and there are just too many other stimuli fighting for our attention.

Emotional...and Interactive!

As broadband moves real video online, we suddenly have a platform that engages our emotions in a way that scanning text online can't. We create emotional connections to the content, the same way we do with movies or television. But what's really exciting is that now we can make that content interactive. We can click to access more information, or to guide ourselves through a story. Linear narrative can now give way to hyperlinked multiple story threads. Advertising messages can be delivered with the full impact of a visual, emotional medium, then transition seamlessly to a logical information request. Now, we are engaging both our intellect and our emotions at the same time. That could change everything about the way we interact online. And, as always, search will be the connection to that experience. Hope to see you at the session!

Please click here.Gord Hotchkiss is the president of Enquiro, a search engine marketing firm. He loves to explore the strategic side of search and is a frequent speaker at Search Engine Strategies and Ad:Tech.


buzz this

The New MTV

The New MTV

MARCH 23, 2006

Some call it the third screen. Some call it the small screen. Others simply call it mobile television (MTV). But everyone agrees, it represents a huge opportunity.

2006 is the year that carriers, content providers and marketers are sitting up, taking notice and starting to experiment and invest in mobile television initiatives.

"eMarketer looked at the various global trials, carrier and content provider announcements and concluded that there will be well over 100 million active users of paid or sponsored mobile broadcast video services globally by the end of 2009," says John du Pre Gauntt, eMarketer Senior Analyst and author of the new report, Mobile Television for Marketers: Monetizing the Smallest Screen. "Of course, that number is easily swallowed by forecasts of well over 2.5 billion mobile users in the same time period."


The demographics, income and spending patterns of early and near-term adopters will be crucial for marketers trying to determine whether mobile TV represents a sub-market or the next huge mass market for mobile services.

"Everybody's basically putting their toe in the water," Leslie Moonves, chief executive of CBS told The New York Times. "We're all aware how hugely significant this is going to become both culturally and financially in the next couple of years."

From a technical point-of-view, the two pivot points for mobile TV are growth in smartphones and growth of advanced 3G networks. These are table stakes to move mobile TV past the pilot stage toward critical mass and finally mass-market penetration.

Estimates of global subscriber numbers on 3G networks showed wide disparity. ABI Research reported 2005 global figures to be 42 million.


Informa Telecoms & Media put the 2005 figure over 70 million.


"Hand-in-hand with technical obstacles, mobile TV players must work the commercial side of the equation," says Mr. Gauntt. "Marketers shouldn't believe for a minute that either the mobile carriers or the content providers have cracked the business model, let alone the digital rights issues that will be crucial to migrate mobile TV from one market stage to the next."

Carriers are hard at work on the problem, however.

The most extensive consumer trials of mobile TV have been in Europe, with one pilot in France, another in Finland, two in the UK and another in Spain. The general results show willingness on the part of participants to purchase mobile TV services, typically with a low flat-rate fee. Users also demonstrated viewing habits roughly in line with expectations (eg preference for familiar and/or short program offers centered around sports, news and entertainment; viewing during non-peak hours; viewing during both the commute and at home).


"Perhaps most importantly, customer surveys consistently show reticence on the part of consumers to pay more than $5 - 10 extra per month for mobile data services in general," says Mr. Gauntt. "With all the hype about $0.99 news pieces, $1.99 episodes of broadcast television or all-you-can-eat monthly subscriptions, the danger of users receiving phone bills as thick as phone books is very real."

Learn about opportunities, and where the problem lie, read the new eMarketer report, Mobile Television for Marketers: Monetizing the

buzz this

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Web Execs: TV Merging With Internet

Web Execs: TV Merging With Internet
by Erik Sass, Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 6:00 AM EST
Falk AdSolution
INTERNET COMPANIES WILL INCREASINGLY RELY on TV networks to provide online content, Yahoo Executive Vice President Greg Coleman predicted Monday at a panel in New York hosted by the Advertising Research Foundation.

"They do have the content," Coleman said of the major TV industry players, adding: "the answer is going to be partnerships of all different kinds."

Michael Barrett, executive vice president of AOL Media, agreed that TV and Web companies need to work together. He said that online journalism had flourished, but added: "the stuff that's really early on still is the entertainment offerings." Seeking an explanation, Barrett pointed to TV executives' fear of losing control over their content: "There are a lot of rates issues--a lot of protection issues." Nonetheless, he too predicted much greater cooperation in the near future.

Joanne Bradford, corporate vice president of global sales and trade marketing and chief media revenue officer for Microsoft, said that even though the Internet and television are melding, TV isn't likely to dominate the smaller, fledgling Internet advertising market. "The industry is not at a place where you can just turn over what we do to television," she said, stressing that online ad sales are driven by data. "It's a very different sell--it's bought in a different way; the back-end reporting structure is different."

Still, Bradford noted that online agencies' capacity to place premium inventory still lags far behind demand--meaning that a huge pot of ad dollars are being lost every year. "Until we're at the place that we have operational scale and ease of use as an industry, we're always going to be behind," Bradford warned, concluding: "[TV's] not as efficient as we are, but we don't have the scale that they do."

As the two industries collide, and possibly combine, many questions clearly remain--among them, what will the content landscape look like? Although panelists were for the most part reluctant to make sweeping predictions, Clark Kokich, president of Avenue A/Razorfish Worldwide, did offer one bold forecast, saying: "In three years, the content offered by these companies will be virtually identical." Kokich cited competition for consumers who are increasingly in control of their media consumption as the driver for this convergent evolution: "I think that's just a natural outgrowth of the maturation of the business."

buzz this