Letters

No Magic Recipe for Media Success

I find it amusing that Adweek reports an apparent trend of media executives growing increasingly dissatisfied with the unbundled media model in “Pool Is Latest Exec to Reject Unbundling” [Dec. 9].

Sorry, but media isn’t that simple. There is no one structure that guarantees media greatness. This model debate is reminiscent of the holding-company mega-agency versus the smaller shop debate. There, too, the answer is “it depends” when asked to identify the stronger entity.

Good media can be found in all the same places bad media resides, in unbundled and full-service agencies, in big agencies and small ones.

The best solution is to combine great media people, strong resources and an actively involved client, and you’ll have the recipe for successful media, regardless of the packaging.

Tim Sullivan

Founder

Media Smart

Cincinnati

Attention Cost-Cutters:Good Training Pays Off

Thanks to Kathy Gilbert for addressing the training issue so thoughtfully [A&C, Dec. 2]. She is unfortunately accurate in her assess ment of professional development for most agencies in today’s economy.

While it makes sense to cut back on entry-level training during downturns, it is even more important for those left working “harder and smarter” to be rewarded for their performance and supported in their professional development needs. While seen more in the breach than the practice in this industry, the key lies with senior management’s leadership to support, participate in and champion training for their best performers. The solution is to select ways and means that ensure that the training pays for itself. We can be far more creative on our own behalf. If our clients are doing it, why can’t we?

Senior managers are in the best position to determine critical training needs, whether to prevent errors, save time and money, improve communications and morale, result in more new business or all of the above. Too many managers pass the whole responsibility on to human resources, whose tasks should be to help select participants, give administrative support and get feedback on results. Managers will also get more payoff if they “brand” their training to support their agency objectives and culture.

The biggest deterrent, now more than ever, is time—and this is where true leaders are tested. Will it be personal participation rather than lip service? Coaching rather than criticizing? Real payoff to the agency rather than a cost readily cut? In good times and bad, when leaders pass these tests, we as instructors won’t be hearing this frequent response after a training program is completed: “My boss is the one who should have been here.”

Linda Field

Managing director

Glade Group

Rehoboth Beach, Del.

Mystery Clip Origins Revealed

A story in Shoptalk [Nov. 18] reported that an “e-mail video is generating plenty of comedic pathos these days around the offices of Publicis Groupe’s DMB&B.” What the reporter fails to realize is that this “94-second movie” is actually a clip from the hit BBC comedy series The Office that began airing in the U.K. in September 2001.

Lee Burton

Advertising director

CNF

Palo Alto, Calif.

For the record: In the Media All-Stars Special Report [Dec. 9], the name of the company that Beth Uyenco works for was misidentified. She is svp and director of research for OMD. In a news story [Nov. 4], the name of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services was stated incorrectly.