|November 12, 2007|
|Publicis' Levy Hurls Stink Bomb at Monoco Media Forum. Frank Frenchman Says Ads Are Not Going to Bail Out Web 2.0|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|WPP Group’s Martin Sorrell is the undisputed spokesperson for the communications business, but Publicis Groupe’s Maurice Levy is catching up. |
The forthright Frenchman hurled a stink bomb during last weekend's Monaco Media Forum when he shocked the audience with warnings that advertising is not going to bail out Web. 2.0. [Full disclosure: I was far from Monoco when Maurice spoke, and the likes of dropping by in the near future don’t look too promising.]
Though an unlikely fan of “Field of Dreams," Levy put a spin on its classic line of “If you build it, they will come.” The Publicis chief said of advertisers: “Just because you built it, they may not come.”
According to the Financial Times, Levy likened Web 2.0 to the end of the `90s when “everyone thought that because he had a website he’d get the valuation. Now everyone building a Web 2.0 operation believes he will receive the advertising.”
The Commander of the French Legion of Honor shot down the notion that “advertising is the manna” for Web 2.0.
“Far too many people are building plans based on advertising and they may well be disappointed because there is not enough money for everyone."
Those are strong words from ad guy Levy, a big booster of the digital life. That’s evidenced by Publicis’s whopping $1.3B deal for Digitas. Sorrell is among those who sniffed at the full price paid for Digitas.
Anybody walking down midtown Manhattan gets Levy’s drift. Fuse TV, for instance, has ads plastered on bus stops/phone kiosks everywhere looking for advertisers to reach its largely kiddie audience that apparentely is jumping out of its skin to watch music videos.
This blogger is a Beta 1.0 tester of Joost, Internet TV. Its most “compelling” fare is the Silent Movie Channel. That’s compelling in the sense that it’s just plain strange to watch silent film stars like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton on the web. "Sticky" it is not.
Who is SMC's target audience? The New York Times ran an op-ed piece today about the last surviving veteran of WW I. He is 106. That’s not far from age of the silent movie audience. It’s easy to understand why advertisers are not beating down the doors to line up spots on the SMC.
The irony of the FT report is that on the same day it ran Levy’s warning about Web 2.0, FT appointed Richard Edgar as its first head of video.
Go figure. Who knows how things are going to turn out?
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