Monthly Archives: April 2009

…And access for all

As you may have read in a previous post, our house is currently a building site and we’re living in temporary accommodation. Although the flat is nice enough, the family and I are all starting to miss our creature comforts: my wife and I the garden and the Sky Plus HD box, the kids their trampoline. But we’re united in yearning for broadband which we’re all struggling to cope without.

My youngest daughter is a fan of the Bratz website (about dolls and accessories, for those of you without young girls), my son his Xbox live gaming & my eldest a constant stream of YouTube – let alone all their homework requirements which seem to demand internet access these days.

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ITV conundrum stretches back long before Grade

Last week’s relegation of his beloved football team, Charlton Athletic, to the third tier of English football marked the beginning of a tough few days for ITV executive chairman Michael Grade.

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Sneak Preview of Wolfram Alpha Search Engine Tonight!

Just got a mail from those folks at Wolfram Alpha who’ve been causing a bit of a stir talking about the launch of a new search engine.

The mail offers a sneek peek tonight at 8pm GMT during a webcast filmed at Harvard University.

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Consumers Are Still Searching! Are Advertisers Feeling Lucky?

I’m not really surprised that Hitwise, via the fabulous Robin Goad, have reported that clicks to retailers from paid search have declined slightly over the last year.

While search volumes are growing year on year because of the usual reasons – more time spent online, broadband penetration, better devices and offline marketing campaigns driving people online, the economic situation is obviously to blame for consumers not leaping online to buy stuff like they used to before all this mess.

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New merger rules will result in horse trading not local sell-offs

The focus has fallen on regional media in an unprecedented manner recently. Last week’s Digital Media Summit kept the issues squarely in the spotlight, attended by political heavyweights including PM Gordon Brown and business secretary Peter Mandelson, and industry bigwigs such as Mirror Group’s Sly Bailey.

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Sandhurst Famous on Twitter for the Wrong Reason – Ben Clarke

Anyone who saw The Apprentice last night will be jangling two keywords around in their head today – Ben & Sandhurst :-)

I actually only caught the last 20 or so minutes but now know our friends at The Beeb and Surallan probably kept the bullish Belfast upstart Ben in the show because of his gargantuanly arrogant assumption that having a scholarship to Sandhurst was somehow a pre-requisite for being chosen as Surallan’s apprentice, and because we can probably expect to hear more equally moronic statements from the young man in episodes to come!

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Digital outdoor must demonstrate added value

No one in London can fail to have noticed the vast increase in digital out-of-home media in recent years.

Clear Channel’s iconic Piccadilly site and Titan’s Transvision screens on railway station concourses blazed the trail, as did CBS Outdoors’ escalator panels, six-sheets and cross-track projection screens in Tube stations.

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Bin Travellin’ Bin Comparin’

Tonight, I fly back to Blighty having spent over 3 weeks in North America.

5 days in New York for Search Engine Strategies, a weekend in Boston with friends, 3 days in Toronto doing some press and 10 days in Seattle having a ton of meetings and planning sessions for our next fiscal year which starts in July.

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Agencies focusing just on price are risking disaster

I recently received a copy of an e-mail that had been sent out by a press buyer at a top five UK media agency that made for intensely depressing reading.

The e-mail, submitted anonymously by a disillusioned sales rep at a weekly magazine, was sent out to the reps at news weeklies. It outlined the tough trading conditions the buyer’s agency was experiencing and that one of its large clients had cut its budget for Q2 2009. It basically went on to say that ads would only be booked for this client in titles that could offer further discounts on rates from Q1. The best deals would determine who made the schedule. End of “discussion”.

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It’s great up in the digital North

I’ve recently come back from a couple of days in the north,
where I had breakfast, lunch and dinner with most of our agency partners in
that part of the world.

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