<sharon> Hi Priscilla
<priscilla> Hi. Glad to be here.
<nchao> May we have a brief introduction or background
of our guest speaker?
<priscilla> I'm an EVP at the Ad Council, and my primary
responsibility is overseeing the development of all of our
campaigns. Before I came here, I had extensive experience
in account management. Currently, I am overseeing our traditional
docket of issues, as well as all crisis related work.
<Sharon> So you must be busy now!
<priscilla> To say the least!
<Sharon> How many campaigns do you expect to have related
to Sept. 11?
<priscilla> Since 9/ll, we've already developed about
6 new campaigns that have been released, including a spot
from Laura Bush, about talking to kids during this stressful
time. We also worked on the development of the spot "I
am an American" which encourages tolerance and acceptance
of all Americans. We are operating at warp speed here, and
getting messages out as they are needed. Given how events
are shifting on a daily basis, we have to be fairly nimble.
<Sharon> Do you have any way of measuring the effectiveness
of the spots?
<priscilla> The particular challenge is getting timely
messages out, without sacrificing creative integrity. And
at this point, we can only measure if the spots are running
in donated time, and hits to the web sites and 800 #s on the
end of some of the spots .
<Sharon> How has the response from agencies/media been
in donating their time and talent?
<priscilla> Extraordinary. We have an extensive list
of agencies and individuals willing to work pro-bono on any
crisis related work. Directors, production houses, editors,
etc. are all donating their services. And, to date, the media
has been very generous about running the work - radio, print
<Sharon> That's great!
<istole> Who decides on the particular themes used in
<priscilla> We have been sought out (e.g. by government
agencies and private not-for-profits ) on specific issues,
and at the same time, we have assembled a team of senior advertising
execs to help us sort through what messages we need to get
out. So, we're being both proactive and responsive.
<Sharon> Do you have problems getting companies involved
with other issues? I would think they all want to be involved
with Sept. 11.
<priscilla> Well, that's an interesting question that
we're grappling with on a daily basis. It's not as if the
problem of childhood hunger has abated since 9/ll, or that
domestic violence is no longer an issue. We're responsible
for letting the media (and consumers) know that the pressing
social issues of the day remain. And yes, there is a bit more
interest in crisis related work.
<nchao> Do you keep an archive for all the events/campaigns
you did, so students may learn from them?
<priscilla> All of our current campaigns can be found
on our web site. I know we have archives internally, but I'm
not sure if that data can be found on the site.
<istole> Have corporations shown an increased interest
in the Advertising Council's work since 9/11?
<priscilla> Yes. Interestingly, we began as the War
Advertising Council in 1942, formed five months after the
bombing of Pearl Harbor. So we're definitely returning to
our roots. Our corporate funders, who have always been supportive
of us, have shown an increased appreciation of our efforts.
The problem is, of course, that in this economy, they can't
always demonstrate their appreciation in ways that help us!
We rely strictly on private funds for our survival.
<shannon> Ordinarily I try to stay away from the materialistic
aspect of things, but I've wondered recently if it's possible
to buy print ads from agencies and/or the Ad Council? Would
selling of ad posters and such help fund your org. in needed
<priscilla> Yes it would. It's probably something we
<Sharon> Do you have a timeline of how long the Sept.
11 campaign will continue?
<priscilla> We anticipate that this will be a long term
communications effort. A lot depends on how long the conflict
continues. So much is unknown. But, we're prepared to develop
messages as long as they're needed.
<aef_man> What other campaigns are you currently working
<Shannon> Specifically I have noticed that the "We
love NY, more than ever" poster has been circulated to
businesses, but not to the public. I know there were issues
surrounding the logo, but it's the public that almost needs
something to help them express their feelings of what has
happened. The Ad Council wasn't responsible for that though,
was it? But would it go along with the Ad Council's objectives
to work on something like that to offer to the public?
<priscilla> Other than crisis work? Or specific crisis
<aef_man> Other than crisis work.
<priscilla> We're committed to our current docket, which
covers topics as diverse as education, safety, health, parenting
and community well being. About 80% of our regular docket
is dedicated to helping kids. Shannon, in response to your
question, no, we weren't involved in that effort. We tend
to focus on specific social messages.
<istole> Many corporations have started to run their
own 9/11 related ads. Several were seen in the New York Times
Magazine this last Sunday. Are these individual efforts a
problem for the Ad Council? Do these divert from the common
/overall theme and effort?
<priscilla> In response to istole, we can't assume that
we're going to run all crisis related work. I don't think
it's a problem for us, but yes, it might be a little confusing
to consumers, to see ads for 15-20 funds regarding the victims.
All of them legitimate and well meaning, of course.
<xman007> Have advertising companies profits
been hit extremely hard due to Sept. 11?
<priscilla> Before 9/ll, agencies were suffering, as
were a lot of advertisers. This certainly hasn't helped.
<xman007> Should we expect a great deal more of patriotic
ads from this present day and years down the line?
<priscilla> Yes, I anticipate that a lot of patriotic
messages have yet to emerge. The country is ripe for them,
and they have been reassuring.
<istole> What exactly (besides from the image of a flag)
qualifies a a "patriotic message." How is the term
<priscilla> Any message that salutes the importance
and pride in being an American, and celebrates the principles
on which we were founded. Freedom, democracy, etc.
<priscilla> That's my definition, anyway.
<xman007> Do you think these American patriotic ads
will lead us to more global patriotic ad themes for perhaps
the next decade?
<priscilla> That's dangerous. When you extend beyond
our borders, it borders on propaganda.
<Sharon> I've read that there is a new 'committee' formed
to deal with this conflict. How will that work with the Ad
<priscilla> We are members of that committee (meeting
as we speak, as a matter of fact). We decide together what
messages we should embrace.
<Shannon> In terms of global, though, would the Ad Council
work with any "love of mankind, despite differences"
<priscilla> But, note that even as we take on these
messages, we are NOT walking away from our core messages,
as noted earlier.
<aef_man> To what extent do you think the advertising
industry will use September 11th as part of their campaigns
before it withdraws and says enough. After all, many people
find this constant reminder of these horrific events badgering
and psychologically damaging.
<Shannon> What other orgs are members of the committee
to deal with this conflict?
<priscilla> Paid advertisers have to tread lightly,
and not appear to exploit people's emotions at this time.
So, they need to stay on top of, via research, what consumers
are feeling. Shannon, we're working with other industry trade
groups (like the 4As).
<nchao> What's the border line of propaganda and war
time campaign in your view?
<priscilla> Hard to say. I think it's subjective.
<xman007> Do you think airline ads at this time would
do more harm than good?
<priscilla> No, I don't think airlines should hide their
heads in the sand. I (and this is a personal opinion) feel
that we need to support the airline industry - they're victims
too. And for that reason, they should stay out there in the
minds of consumers, as consumers get over (slowly) their fears
<xman007> Do you think advertisers are gearing up for
a dramatic shift away from in advertising that includes any
type of violence?
<priscilla> Advertisers are certainly shying away from
violent images or messages, as is appropriate.
<moderator> Thank you Priscilla and all of our participants
for joining us. A transcript of this discussion will be posted
<priscilla> My pleasure!
<moderator> Thanks again everyone. Stay
tuned to aef.com for more upcoming discussions.
Content Master, aef
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