Mayor Bloomberg Wants to Save New York Media

By Matt Van Hoven 

The City of New York is looking to hire a consultant who can sum up the state of New York media, and offer a plan for renewing the city’s once vibrant media atmosphere. Cuz, apparently they just realized the financial market isn’t the only ailing industry here. We’ll save them some time: traditional is dead or dying; tax breaks for emerging media start-ups!

Of course the city always knew media was hurting. It’s just taken the government this long to remember that this is a media town (though we’re not convinced bringing in a consultant is the best idea, especially since the one they used to study the financial industry (McKinsey & Company) recommended loosening federal restrictions &#151 this was back in early 2007, according to the New York Observer).

But let’s not associate one mistake with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s well-intentioned plan, which he announced at last week’s Audit Bureau of Circulations’ annual conference. We ask the question again; what do you think should be done to help the industry. This time, focus your answers on what local government can do.

Click continued to see what others had to say about saving the (ad) world.


How to Save the (ad) World

Anant_Rangaswami writes:

“There will be geographies (such as India, where I’m writing from) where things don’t seem (as yet) terrible.

Could the larger agencies shift their ‘surplus’ to such countries till such time as things are better? It would certainly be better than sacking people….”

and later:

“Think of moving people around as a half-way house. At least it keeps the home fires burning and bills paid. I agree completely that it’s not ideal, but I can’t imagine ideal solutions being found in this situation.

Being in India, it’s easier to believe that it’s not going to be such a long haul. The next few months will witness, for example, BBH opening shop, Naked and StrawberryFrog announcing the India set-up, and so on. Jobs are being created in India. I’m sure this will be true of China, Vietnam, etc…
Six months to a year in an office that you don’t fancy is not too bad…”

Marcelo writes:

“The biggest problem I see (sorry it’s a bit unrelated) is the fact we have no union, specific rights and etc… like actors and screen writers for instance.

So, to begin with there’s enormous salary disparities, people that do the same job as you, may have less education and similar talent, but have been doing this forever. They can be earning 5-10x more than you and because of seniority, you are the one to go, and not them.
If we had some form of salary structure for that particular job, and specific contractual rights we and the agency had to sign before starting the job, they would really thinking twice about sending people away. Same goes for those who use the agency as a stepping stone, the agency doesn’t have to suffer in looking for talent and spending all that time and money in recruiting.

Third, I think agencies should start to formulate the way they bill clients and create a standard for the industry that goes beyond the infamous timesheet/hourly based service. In any time of economy downturn, the agency is the first to suffer because they make money based on billable hours, so less projects from the client, less money from the agency, layoffs.

I’ve heard a little bit about what Anomaly tried to do, I don’t know if they still do the profit-sharing thing, but we need to reformulate the way we bill clients, and it has to be a mandatory industry change that all clients abide by, otherwise we will keep seeing unhappy agency personnel opening up their own shops, making that extra 80% / hour that we bill the client for (art direction time/ copywriting time), but that the worker never sees while working for an agency that’s not their own.

The value of an idea should be paid upfront, the work for launching that branding campaign has to have more value than resizing ads for the rest of the billable year.”