Recent articles in the March 29 issue of Adweek [Art & Commerce] and the March 31 edition of Adweek Online reported on 1998 ad spending based on figures from Competitive Media Reporting. These stories pointed to a healthy year with increases in almost every medium. In fact, according to CMR, only network radio experienced a drop in revenue.
I believe this should have been interpreted as a signal to investigate what would cause this sole section of the robust radio industry to encounter loss. The answer is that network radio did not see a 4.8 percent decrease in ad spending, as indicated by CMR, but, according to Radio Advertising Bureau calculations, benefited from a strong jump.
The radio industry has the utmost respect for CMR and its method of calculating the year-end numbers. But the results of its report are not representative of the entire network radio business. It is based on revenue figures from only two of the radio networks.
In 1998, the resurgent popularity of network radio brought about the development of many new and expanded network companies and entities. These networks are currently not reporting their revenue figures to CMR, thereby rendering CMR's data incomplete.
The Radio Advertising Bureau has calculated a healthy 11.5 percent increase in the network radio business, based on reports from the entire segment of the radio industry. This complements the 12 percent gain that radio as a medium experienced in 1998.
Radio Advertising Bureau,
We read with interest your article about True North [Adweek, Feb. 22]. It's about time that corporate culture is taken into serious account when a company is in trouble. Of course, there are several cultures at True North and they need to adjust to each other. If corporate culture, which is an integral part of the success of a company, is not addressed at the time of a merger or acquisition, there will be problems. True North has major subsidiaries that were once separate companies, each with its own culture.
What is needed at the time of a merger or acquisition is not just consideration of the financials but an assessment of the culture of each company. That will facilitate a healthy integration into a successful new enterprise. Taking into account this most tangible of intangible assets is a key to success.
Phyllis Barr, Christine Wright-Isak
The Corporate Acculturation Practice,
For the Record
The agency for Revlon is Tarlow in New York [Critique, March 22] Andrew Beaver is executive vice president and group director at Deutsch in New York [Adweek, April 5].
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