Letters - 13-20 May 2008

GoViral, Classic FM, Association of Publishing Agencies, Thomson Intermedia.

TAILORING CONTENT TO FORMAT IS KEY TO ENGAGEMENT

Jimmy Maymann, Chief executive, GoViral

The Thinkbox and IAB research (TV and online marketing mix is paying dividends, 6 May, page 10) opens an interesting window on the complementary benefits of TV and online advertising.

However, some of the findings may not totally reflect the true potential for broadcasters and advertisers.

Accenture's recent Global Broadcast Consumer Survey clearly highlights the fact that audiences' main concern is content, not the channel broadcasting it or the method of delivery.

What has also emerged is that audiences are developing very clear ideas of what content is appropriate for which delivery channel.

Broadcasters and marketers need to make sure they do not fall into the trap, created by the broadband-fuelled expansion of online video, of simply repeating their TV campaigns online.

Younger (and not so young) audiences view the internet, particularly their social networks, as at least an equal to TV as a source of information and entertainment.

The challenge for broadcasters - and advertisers - is to understand the different rules that apply to engaging with audiences in this new landscape.

Our experience at GoViral shows that for the huge numbers that are not classified as "technology-savvy consumers", the internet is a much greater influencer of purchase decisions than the 52% quoted.

Broadcasters and advertisers who think along these lines will no doubt stand a better chance in the evolving social media space and be able to develop the right content and formats.

This will in turn generate even greater results from their integrated campaigns than the Thinkbox/IAB research suggests.

ALL THE BEST, BUT CLASSIC FM WAS THERE 13 YEARS AGO

Darren Henley, Managing director, Classic FM

James Mallinson's claim that TalkSport is: "The first radio station to have a magazine created off the back of it" (TalkSport to launch a digital magazine, 6 May, page 7), conveniently overlooks the existence of Classic FM magazine, which was launched 13 years ago, in February 1995.

Published under licence by Haymarket Consumer Magazines, it is now the biggest-selling classical music title on the UK news- stands, with a current circulation of 41,412 and a readership of 220,000 (source: ABC/NRS).

The launch of Classic FM magazine formed the cornerstone for the development of our journey towards becoming the UK's most developed multi-platform radio brand, taking in record labels, book publishing, online, music downloads, a TV channel and live concerts.

Thirteen years after we paved the way, I wish TalkSport every success in its new venture, but, for the sake of its readers, I do hope that the magazine's headlines are a little more up to date than its PR spin.

HARD COPY TITLES ARE VITAL TO A MULTI-PLATFORM POLICY

Julia Hutchison, Chief operating office, Association of Publishing Agencies

Customer publishers have long recognised the need for a multi-platform approach to their titles (How spin-offs are racking up the numbers for magazines, 6 May, page 24).

The recent APA survey shows that digital work now makes up 10% of customer publishers' revenue, which reveals just how integrated a multi-platform approach is to their work.

While we all accept the importance of other media, the notion of the decline of the traditional magazine model is one that I find unfounded.

Both consumer and customer titles continue to attain high circulation figures and, while channels such as online and TV allow on-demand access to content, there will never be a replacement for the engagement experience of a hard copy title.

In this instance, the different media are not competing with one another, but working alongside each other, driving the reader to engage further with the magazine brand.

Jo Smalley is completely right to emphasise the importance of synchronising magazine brands across media - and that is what customer publishers excel at.

SUBTLE DIFFERENCE MAY GIVE THE WRONG IDEA

Andrew Beach, Finance director, Thomson Intermedia

A gremlin crept into your otherwise excellent article Thomson rebadges under the Billetts brand (6 May, page 3) that might have left readers with the impression that our financial performance for the year ending 30 April will be "below market expectations".

Although we did revise our expectations downwards at the time of our interim results in January, the brokers subsequently trimmed their forecasts to take this into account.

Therefore, to say now that the full-year results will be "below market expectations" is inaccurate.

It is a subtle point I know, but many investors read Media Week and they might have got the wrong idea.

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