Just Asking

NEW YORK We asked industry execs, “What trend worries you most and why?”

“An annoying trend is what I call EEO—Early Election Onset. The 2008 campaign started too early and we’re already seeing ‘consumer ennui.’ It’s disturbing because, as a result, the American public could essentially turn
their back on our democratic process. As it is, too few of the people who are eligible to vote, in fact, do vote. We don’t need to lose more.”—CHARLIE RUTMAN, CEO, MPG NORTH AMERICA

“I’ve always been a glass half full type of person rather than a glass half empty. … Our job is to understand the world and the people that we are
communicating with and take a trend and turn it into an opportunity.”—LEE CLOW, WORLDWIDE CREATIVE DIRECTOR, TBWA WORLDWIDE

“I’m concerned about the growing sense of crisis in the financial sector and its impact on the advertising business. I don’t believe we’ve felt the full effects yet and expect there will be a ripple effect on the advertising business.”—JONATHAN EPSTEIN, CEO, DOUBLE FUSION

“The issues that worry me the most are around hiring and retention. As clients are waking up to the importance of interactive and digital, everyone is vying for the same limited talent pool. It’s not just the agency business that’s being influenced, but start-ups and corporations of all types.”—BOB GREENBERG, CEO, R/GA

“The housing market certainly, because people’s feeling of worth and economic well-being is tied to their single most important asset . . . A downturn in the market makes people feel less optimistic, less wealthy, less willing to make big moves. That’s the thing that keeps them on the sideline.”—STEVE CANNON, VP, MARKETING, MERCEDES-BENZ USA

“Sourcing the very best talent. In marketing and advertising 20 years ago, it was easy to source great people. Now, there’s much more competition. …The talent is just very scarce.”—HAMISH MCLENNAN, WORLDWIDE CEO, YOUNG & RUBICAM

“The biggest trend is, rightfully, putting the consumer at the center of everything we do. But I’m concerned that too many clients still need to break down the silos they’ve set up in their own marketing departments over the past 25 years to do that most effectively.”—HOWARD DRAFT, CEO, DRAFTFCB

“Advertising avoidance. I sit on TiVo’s advisory board and the statistics are ominous: 50 percent of TiVo owners skip nearly all advertisements. Their IRI panel shows this is affecting purchase behavior significantly. This behavior also indicates a general rejection of advertising. The marketing industry has to be faster in catching up with the consumer and innovating to counter this trend.”—SARAH FAY, CEO, CARAT

“I’m worried about the sudden and inexplicable explosion in the population of people younger than I am.”—JEFF GOODBY, CO-CHAIRMAN, GOODBY, SILVERSTEIN & PARTNERS

“The growing influence of procurement on the compensation process. At a time when ideas are at a premium—and are the currency of the future—payment momentum is moving towards bureaucratic purchasing-driven criteria, as if creative ideas are to be counted, like accountancy hours! We need to be compensated on sales a la P&G, not on hours like Deloitte.”—KEVIN ROBERTS, WORLDWIDE CEO, SAATCHI & SAATCHI

“The intersection of two dynamics: People hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet to unintentionally—or intentionally—do things they wouldn’t dare do in real life. And media capitalizing on this behavior for ratings. At what point does investigative reporting become entrapment?”—JOE GRIMALDI, CEO, MULLEN

“The scarcity of talent in the media industry right now. As we look to building the media business in the future, I wonder if we are growing enough talent for the size it will become. Professionals who have 5-7 years of industry experience are the leaders of the business of tomorrow. It’s that and the ridiculous number of comedies set in New York!”—SCOTT NESLUND, PRESIDENT, CEO, MINDSHARE NORTH AMERICA