Mike Chico to Head Up CAC

Mike Chico has been named the new president and chairman of the Cinema Ad Council. Chico, executive vp of sales and marketing for Screenvision, succeeds Dave Kupiec, executive vp of sales and marketing for National CineMedia. Kupiec will remain a CAC officer, taking on the role of executive director.

The CAC also announced Tuesday (Oct. 6) that both Bob Brouillette, CAC treasurer and senior vp of business development for National CineMedia and Laura Adler, CAC secretary and president of A & G Marketing Group, will remain in their roles.

Established in 2003, the CAC has grown up with a medium that continues to attract advertisers despite the economic slowdown that has plagued every other medium. Coming off double-digit growth in 2007, cinema advertising still managed to increase 5.8 percent to $571.4 million in 2008. Most forecasts call for positive growth in 2009. Among the most bullish is Zenith Optimedia, which is calling for a 15 percent increase.

In addition to providing an alternative to network TV advertisers during the upfront, cinema advertising has also embraced new technology to offer integrated campaigns that tie-in lobby advertising, mobile components, scanner technology, and Web sites.

“The whole space is maturing. It’s a good time to raise the visibility of the CAC,” said Chico, who wants to champion a stronger dialog between the medium and its advertisers. “I’d like to get a little closer to clients and agencies and find out what we should do to grow the business. How do we raise the tide?”

That could mean more standardized research and measurement. “Both companies have independent methodologies for research,” Chico noted.

As fourth quarter nears, seasonally the best quarter for cinema, business is picking up. “We will reach sell-out very shortly,” Chico said.

Both Screenvision and National CineMedia are busy laying in annual deals for next year, a process that will lock-in about 30 to 40 percent of the business by the end of the year. “Deals will be north of where they were last year,” Chico said. “So 2010 is looking healthy.”