Ad agencies to explore new revenue streams at MIPCOM

PARIS: It is not just broadcasters and content distributors that are looking to take advantage of MIPCOM. The event which claims to be the worlds largest audiovisual market takes place from 10-14 October in Cannes.

An official release informs that faced with changes across the media and broadcasting industries (product placement regulation, PVRs, bartering, program sponsorship,) a growing number of players from the advertising world are attending MIPCOM to tie partnerships with producers and create innovative marketing strategies.. .

The global advertising business is facing new challenges. With the European Union's current public consultation on the Television Without Frontiers Directive - which covers TV advertising, product placement and other key issues - the steady rise of Personal Video Recorders (PVR) penetration which allow viewers to keep advertising blocks off their screens, advertising agencies are investigating new ways to promote their brands, target and reach consumers effectively.

At MIPCOM top agencies will meet with property owners, content providers and media executives in order to investigate potential partnerships, explore new strategic thinking and media planning and implement innovative advertising and marketing campaigns.. .

Ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) content director Mark Boyd added, "There is a concern over PVR technologies; undoubtedly they will affect viewing in the future."We are coming back to the reason people switch on the TV. It's the programmes, not the ads, they are watching. We need to engage with consumers and not interrupt them: programmes are a key way to do that. Branded content should offer viewers something they are not getting otherwise; it should add value to the schedules.".

BBH is attending MIPCOM with a budget of seven million euros to commission programmes for specific clients including Levi's, Bertolli, Lynx and Audi. In partnership with broadcasters the agency is looking to come up with communication solutions including dating programming, drama and factual output. The company will meet with commissioners and producers in the large European markets to advance briefs and develop big properties that are scalable on different platforms over the next three years. BBH has currently a number of advanced projects in the UK market with leading production companies the release informs.

Universal McCann Programming has attended the MIP markets since 2000 but will exhibit for the first time at MIPCOM. The agency was started nearly three years ago when Universal McCann (the media buying arm of McCann Erickson Advertising) recognised that its media clients increasingly needed expertise in programming, production, product placement and distribution. Universal McCann Programming's Director of Acquisitions Phil Crosswell stated, "This was due to the fast changing media scene and the need to address new methods of providing impact and association between viewers and consumers."

At MIPCOM Universal McCann will announce a deal brokered with clients to create and fund the seventh series of an established format which has been pre-sold to 52 markets and will foster further deals in conjunction with its clients and producers. In the UK the company part-funded the teenage drama Ed Stone is Dead, as well as a kids story-time show, a one-hour documentary programme on behalf of a charity organisation and will be going into production with 6 x 30 cooking programmes, half hour game shows, and two live event broadcasts scheduled between now and the first quarter of 2004. "As media becomes more diverse, and consumers become better acquainted with changing and recording channels, advertisers need to be aware and active to get the best return on investment," Cresswell added.

The release further states that in order to offer the insider's view on current trends and challenges for both the advertising and television industries and to foster partnerships between these, a series of high-powered conference panels and keynotes focused on advertising will be held at next MIPTV ( 29 March- 2 April, 2004). These various initiatives including speakers and panels will be announced at MIPCOM.

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