Scenes From An Actually Interesting Breakfast

Posted by: Jon Fine on November 9, 2006

That would be a confab this morning sponsored by The Week magazine, at which Sir Harold Evans moderated a panel on the topic of The Digital Media Revolution. (Stop nodding off—this was actually very spirited, and panelists said things other than sales pitches for their respective outfits.)

The Panelists: Yahoo’s Chief Operating Officer Dan Rosensweig, MTV Networks President/COO Michael Wolf, WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell, and Sirius Satellite Radio CEO Mel Karmazin.

What The Panelists Said:

“If I could get some of that magic dust to sprinkle on my company, I wouldn’t have to wake up at 8 AM to see you.”
—Sorrell, to Evans, regarding Google’s valuation versus WPP’s.

“The founders didn’t want to do it.”
—Karmazin, blaming Yahoo founders David Filo and Jerry Yang for why CBS (back when he ran it) didn’t end up buying Yahoo back in the day.

“We are being valued at what traditional media companies [are].”
—Rosensweig, outlining Yahoo’s current lament.

“You would think they would [have launched] MySpace.”
—Karmazin, opining that, given AOL’s massive success with AOL Instant Messenger, well, they shoulda thought of MySpace first.

“I don’t feel comfortable not putting the lion’s share of my [ad] budgets” into traditional media.
—Karmazin, responding to a very smart contradiction pointed out by Sorrell. Which I didn’t take perfect notes on, but which is approximately reproduced below:

“Why is it package-goods manufacturers still spend only two or three percent their ad budgets on the Net? Seventy to eighty percent of car-buying decisions are influenced by the Internet, but it’s only five to ten percent of car manufacturers’ budgets.”

And, lastly, the best media/marketing throwdown line of the morning:

“We collect more data in a day than Wal-Mart does in a year.”
—Rosensweig; no explanation necessary.

Reader Comments

Don

November 13, 2006 2:09 PM

Re packaged goods advertising on the net. I have always said, to all who'd listen, that the best products to advertise on websites would be Snickers and Coke, which were the craving and fuel behind all my after-8pm computer usage. Plus, since they rely on pageviews and not click-through, they'd be even MORE cost effective than traditional online ads due to CPM costs.

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The media world continues to shapeshift as new forms arise and old assumptions erode. On this blog, Bloomberg Businessweek will provide sharp analysis and timely reports on the transformation of this constantly changing terrain.

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