The stars were bigger, the venues sleeker, the lines longer. Close to 20 companies from Yahoo to Blip hosted NewFronts last week, earning generally strong reviews. "If last year was about the start of a movement, this year was about evolution and maturity," said Adam Shlachter, svp media, Digitas.
“The increased high quality programing, celebrity involvement and the flexibility of the medium has to be getting the attention of the TV buyers,” added Andrea Kerr Redniss, chief activation officer, Media Storm. In fact, some upfront style strike-quickly buying happened last week. During AOL's NewFront, CEO Tim Armstrong announced that Razorfish and its sister agencies Digitas and LBi had locked up inventory in one of the portal's new business series.
Yet despite that others complained about what they saw as excessive showmanship and undifferntiated projects. “We’re still trying to be TV,” said Amber Lawson, former head of AOL Video, “instead of embracing our strengths.”