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Radio’s efforts to improve spots get some good PR

Check out this piece from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

It mentions the efforts of the Clear Channel Creative Services Group as well as Philly’s own B101 and its cutting edge effort to have its own listeners rate the spots online.

The latter is exactly what was urged by former Starbucks and Nike marketing head Scott Bedbury when he spoke to me long before B101’s testing campaign (the interview was also featured in my book, Fresh Air).

Kudos to both Clear Channel and B101!

And a pox on the academics who poo-poo this effort. Especially Peter Coughter, professor of strategy at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Adcenter, who pronounces the cause hopeless and recommends that clients seek out ad agencies (of all things) because “most of the horrible stuff we hear on the radio is a creation of the station itself.”

Why not let the listener decide that, Mr. Coughter? Why leave it up to the agency, whose primary motivation is minimum expense, maximum reach, and – wherever possible – TV. Agencies produce far more than their fair share of crap, sir. Where do you think stations learn it from?

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