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Radio is now “audio-anchored advertising”? You’ve got to be kidding me.

From Radio Ink:

The Southern California Broadcasters Association and marketers’ trade organization thinkLA jointly presented a powerhouse panel discussion Thursday morning on “The Status and Future of Audio-Anchored Advertising,” with Clear Channel Radio President/CEO John Hogan, CBS Radio President/CEO Dan Mason, Emmis Chairman/President/CEO Jeff Smulyan, Univision President/COO Gary Stone, and Citadel Chairman/CEO Farid Suleman. After an introduction by SCBA President Mary Beth Garber, moderator Kyle Acquistapace — EVP/Director/Media Planning for ad agency Deutsch/Los Angeles — began his introductions with, “The topic today is the future of audio-anchored advertising, formerly known as radio.”

I won’t bore you with a blow-by-blow description of this session. Let me just take issue with the fundamental premise: That radio is “audio-anchored advertising.”

(And let’s further pretend that we all know what the hell that means.)

This statement is ridiculous.

Let me tell you what radio really is.

Radio is an environment that attracts audiences. On-air, online, on location.

And it attracts those audiences because of what’s on – or should be on – the air. And it will cease to attract audiences when it takes for granted or diminishes or neuters what’s on – or should be on – the air.

Radio has the permission and trust of these audiences to connect them with merchants, no matter where those connections occur: On-air, online, or on location.

Radio is NOT advertising.

Radio is NOT “audio-anchored” (and the less we use metaphors that summon pictures of a metal weight descending rapidly to the sea floor to halt momentum, the better). Where’s the “audio anchor” at a remote? Where’s the “audio anchor” on your website? Where’s the “audio anchor” when a listener walks into a merchant with a coupon from your station?

Radio is audiences and entertainment and information and connection.

And it is those elements which make advertising transactions possible.

What a shame that the experts in the field don’t even understand the field.

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