Tag Archives: media

New York, New York: Recap From The 4A’s Data Summit

The 4A’s hosted their first ever Data Summit in New York on Wednesday Oct 16th with a jam packed agenda corresponding to the growing trend in big data and how it is evolving the advertising industry.


I was skeptical at first that the conference would dive so deep into the numbers that the strategy side of data would be lost.  To my surprise, I spent a wonderful day listening to numerous industry leaders, technology companies, and even a data scientist who impressed me with his knowledge on the wide world of data.  Here’s a brief look at my top 5 takeaways from the day:

  1.  Data and Privacy – there was a lively debate about privacy issues as it relates to data collecting and who is really being harmed in the process.  I think as long as we give the consumer a choice we can stay in front of strict regulations.  Clients want to build trust with their consumer, even more so today than ever, so if we are transparent with them we can make their ad experience better and more relevant.
  2. Programmatic Buying – the panel started out with a real time media trade and ended with a lively panel discussing this hot topic.  Data is allowing us to shift our thoughts from media buying to audience buying in a way we could never do before.  Real time trading allows machines to do the work faster than a human could and with a new resurgence of this concept higher quality placements and reach are at your fingertips.  I feel in an area where inventory can be limitless such as the web the trading desk can succeed but in an area where inventory is so limited such as TV and cable it will be hard to move to this model in the near future.
  3.  Facebook as a solutions provider – Facebook is committed to moving their advertising offerings to the next step and provide clients with real ROI on their business outcomes.  They are focused on providing advertising solutions for the mobile space since people are checking their phone on average 100 x a day.  It will be interesting to watch this next progression with Facebook since up until now it has been more focused on engagement metrics.
  4. Creativity comes from everywhere – media, data, creative, and technologist all need to come together to find solutions for clients to reach their audience.  We need to look to transform our own business to break down any silos that prohibit creative thinking.  The customer has to be in the center and we need to follow them on how they interact with a brand and what technology they use to do that.  We need to consider how a consumer connects with their multiple screens and devise a creative strategy for the context of that device.
  5. Future trends to keep an eye on – a representative from Goldman Sachs presented an enlightening snapshot at how Wall Street values big data.  They believe ad dollars will continue to shift online and that programmatic buying will continue to grow.  They predict a time when their will be frictionless buying across traditional and digital platforms.  (Can we say hallelujah!)  They believe the visualization of the web will continue as well as growth with companies leveraging first party data (Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn).

In the end the trip was a HUGE success and we learned so much. Thanks to the 4A’s for putting this conference together. We can’t wait to come back up next year.



Media Spotlight: Kass Burrowes, Social Media Relations Manager

12426_586402464704259_65505331_nEditor’s note: “Media Spotlight” is an ongoing series where we interview the wide range of professionals that make up our growing office. From the traditional media planners to our digital buyers, you’ll gain insight into the many levels that make up Media Works Ltd. This week we interview Social Media Relations Manager, Kass Burrowes

How long have you been working in media/ advertising?

I’ve been working in advertising for about 3 years. I started as an intern at an agency and fell in love with the culture and fast pace of the media industry.

What are some of the challenges of your position?

For me the biggest challenge with working in social media is trying to stay abreast on all of the tools and technology available. There’s new platforms and sites being released every week and often times we’re tempted to play with all the new toys, but and as a digital marketer it’s my responsibility to research these options and decide which is the best fit for our clients.

What’s your all-time favorite ad campaign? What made it special?

I’ve always been fascinated by automotive advertising so most of my favorite campaigns are for car companies. Over the past couple of years I’ve really enjoyed seeing Cadillac transform from a stale brand into a product coveted by people of all ages. More recently I’ve fallen in love with the Mad Med inspired Lincoln commercials that run during the show. Often time’s sponsorships can seem forced, but as a fan of the show I really appreciate them taking the time to make the ads appear seamless with the show.

Can you name a recent campaign that you would’ve done differently?

For me there aren’t too many campaigns that I would’ve done differently, but I do feel that there are some brands that need a reality check. As a social media addict it frustrates me when I see brands avoiding social media integration into their spots. We’re seeing more brands include their Twitter and Facebook handles into their commercials to help drive traffic. Forbes reported that 75% of brands integrated social into their ads. Obviously I’m a little partial because I work in the industry, but I really do see value in driving your customers to the social space.

What advice would you offer to someone looking to get into the advertising industry?

My advice to any young professional looking to get into advertising would be to hustle. These days there are so many people looking to get into advertising/social media that you have to find a way to make yourself stick out from the crowd. Whether it’s finding a creative way to represent yourself in your resumé or simply working double time to land an interview, or working unpaid as an intern, you have to work hard to get the job you want. That’s the first part. The second part is working just as hard to keep your job and make an impact. For me it was never just about getting a job in advertising. I felt I had good ideas and I wanted the opportunity to share them and see them implemented. As a result I did whatever it took to get my feet in the door so that I could prove myself and I’ve been here ever since.

Crisis TV: Analyzing The Latest Trends In News Reporting

In the aftermath of the week-long media coverage of the Boston marathon bombings, many questions have arisen about the role of media in breaking news stories, and how things are different from just a few years ago.

I was one of those people who followed the story closely from the bombings on Monday until Suspect #2 was captured Friday night. I watched the story on TV, followed blogs and live updates online, and scoured the internet for any news I could find. Along the way, I received a lot of misinformation (some of which I passed on to other people). Yet, in the end, I was happy to be informed about each development. It was difficult to take my eyes off the screen as I watched the story unfold live on Friday night when the younger brother was captured. Looking back on the week and how it was covered in the media, there are definitely some issues to consider and some takeaways for the future:

Are Cable and Network TV news still relevant?

Are people still getting their news from traditional sources or are they turning to social media? It seems that, despite the role of social and digital media in news

gathering and sharing, people are still turning to TV. The cable news networks saw huge numbers last week when they aired near-constant coverage of the bombings and the aftermath. According the Medialife, 10 of the top 20 shows on cable last week aired on Friday on CNN and Fox News, all of which had to do with Boston bombing coverage.

Furthermore, 46 million viewers tuned into broadcast and cable on Friday night to see the capture. Despite the speed at which digital media operates, there is still an appeal to TV. On Friday night, viewers could watch the capture of the suspect live on TV and actually see the story unfold. This is something that probably won’t change anytime in the near future, despite the increase in digital news sources.

News Errors and the Validity of Reporting

All week long there were reports that ended up not being true. Even major news networks were making mistakes by reporting too quickly: CNN reported that the bomber had been arrested when they hadn’t even been identified yet. When news is reported the next day (like in the newspaper), there’s time to check facts, check sources, and give a full, researched, account. When reports are instantaneous, there is no time to analyze and check the data.

Consumers expect their media quickly. We want to know what is happening when it is happening. But, we must accept that there may be errors when we rely on live new coverage.

The new phenomenon of “crowd sourcing”

Reddit fueled this topic during the hunt for the bombers. Anyone with access to the internet had the capability of scouring photos, looking for people they deemed suspicious. This led to a lot of false accusations and misidentified suspects. The biggest false lead came when a missing Brown student was identified as the Bomber. The family even took down a Facebook page that had been set up to help find him because people starting posting terrible things about the student. Reddit eventually had to issue an apology for the “witch hunt” that ensued, following the bombings.

Police Communication to the Public through Social Media Outlets

On other hand, there were many good things that came out of today’s media as well. For starters, Boston police and FBI were able to communicate with the public through Twitter. When there were false reports of an arrest, the FBI was able to tweet that this information was false. Additionally, the FBI was able to use the media to help aid in identifying the suspects. They put their pictures out to the media, asking for the public’s help in identifying them. Police also used photos and videos from people in the crowd to help search for the bombers. Today’s social media and news sharing allows for more communication between authorities, media, and the public.

The way big news events like this are covered will continue to evolve, but hopefully some of the lessons of last week will be remembered next time.

Media Spotlight: Jody Berg, CEO

Jody Spotlight PicEditor’s note: “Media Spotlight” is an ongoing series where we interview the wide range of professionals that make up our growing office. From the traditional media planners to our digital buyers, you’ll gain insight into the many levels that make up Media Works Ltd. This week we interview Jody Berg, CEO of Media Works.

Q: How did you get your start at Media Works?

Having my father’s entrepreneurial spirit has always driven me to create something for myself and control my own destiny. For years I worked in media at a number of different ad agencies and felt that media departments were often looked over for brainstorming sessions and I felt that I had more to offer. Working at various advertising agencies here in Baltimore, like GKV, Carton Donofrio, and Image Dynamics, I felt it was time to expand and start my own agency. It was around this time that I had my first child and I wanted the flexibility to work and spend time with my family.  So, in 1989 I created Media Works and I setup shop right at the kitchen table of my townhouse.

Q: How is your business model different?

From the very beginning, Media Works has always been focused on the media only side of advertising. When we first started we were the second media only agency to get started in Baltimore. At that time it was all about having the “big agency.” It gave us the opportunity to give our clients the best media recommendations without being biased from what the creative departments wanted. While other agencies have account and creative departments, our strategy has always been to standout and be judged on what we do best. Being able to focus on the media also allows us to partner with other agencies that are doing great creative work in and around Baltimore. This is important because it allows us to be flexible in our approach to new business while staying current on the latest trends in our business.

Q: How would you describe your leadership style?

Being a good listener has always been a value of mine. You can ask anyone here and they’ll tell you that I keep an open door policy. Whether it’s my executive team or the employees here, I make a point to listen to other opinions and rely on the perspectives of those I work with. Before any large decisions are made I consult my executive team so that we can make a unified decision. I surround myself with bright people who are very good in their fields.

Q: What do you like most about Media Works?

My favorite part about Media Works is the people who work for me and our clients. The energy and the personalities here really make us a unique team that you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else. We have some people who’ve worked here for 10+ years and have seen us grow to the 30 employees we have today. The loyalty of everyone here really makes us like a family. As a team, we work hard and play hard and it shows in the work that we do.

Q: What do you feel is your most significant achievement?

It’s hard to choose just one. For me, staying in business for 24 years is a huge achievement. With any business you’re going to have challenges, but being able to grow our business at a steady pace really makes it all worthwhile. We also have clients who’ve been with Media Works for over 10 years and that means a lot. Being able to stay responsive to an ever changing industry also is something I’m proud of.

For more information, please visit our website at www.medialtd.com

Travel Tuesday: Europe

Where in the world has Media Works been?

This week, we are taking you on quite the flight to Europe! We will show you how to discover Europe through the life of a Media Works’er. In this post, you’ll find out more about some of our favorite cities from across the pond. You’ll also see some gorgeous views, ancient architecture and delicious food!

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam may be known for its coffee shops but one thing many people don’t know about the city is that it is surrounded by canals introducing tourists to the most stunning views. Going on a canal tour is a must do as they not only expose visitors to a relaxing and peaceful experience but they are also educational as the conductor shares vast amounts of interesting facts about the city. In terms of food it can be considered sinful to leave Amsterdam without at least trying croquettes, the Dutch do them the best. In restaurants bitterballs are basically the same in a better appetizer form. One place in which all tourists must visit is the Albert Cup Market. You can find amazing cheese, funny (and delicious) chocolates, shoes, clothes, souvenirs, and freshly made stroop waffles, which is our favorite Dutch food. When it comes to transportation throughout the city we recommend that you rent a bike! It is cheaper, easier, and more fun than the public transportation.

Barcelona, Spain

This is one of our favorite cities in Europe, hands down. Barcelona is known for its amazing architecture, which can be attributed to Gaudi, so make sure to visit Sagrada Familia and Park Guell.

One thing Barcelona is not renowned for is the food , but if you make it there you must eat at Cerveceria Catalana and Fonda Gaig, and be sure to walk through St Josep Boqueria.  A great way to see this beautiful city is on a segway tour!

Segwaying around Barcelona

Venice, Italy

Some say that you should go to Venice because it may be under water in the future. We say, go to Venice because it’s simply beautiful! Venice is a city to visit without an itinerary. Take time to get lost in the winding walkways and waterways.

Things To See in Venice:

  • St. Mark’s Square: The square consists of Doges Place, the Basilica, the clock tower, as well as the statue Constantinople stole back from Napoleon.

  • Rialto Bridge: You may have to fight through the crowd, but it’s a great place for a photo op!

 Places to Eat in Venice:

  • Rosticceria Gislon: A local favorite, this restaurant offers a wide range of extremely fresh seafood, pasta, and typical Venetian meals. (We suggest their Grilled Sepia – Cuttlefish served with a polenta cake.)

  • Bistrot de Venise: A Michelin Star winner over the past three years and a staff to cater to your every need.

Rome, Italy

The capital of Italy, home to the Roman Empire and #11 most visited country in the World. The rich history and culture of Rome makes this city a great vacation destination!

Things to See in Rome:

  • The Colosseum: The pictures don’t do it justice, but the Colosseum is a magnificent structure where Gladiators battled. Take guided tours of one of the wonders of the world, and be sure to head on over to the Ancient Ruins afterwards to see some historic artifacts.

Places to Eat in Rome:

  • Bonci Pizza: Recommendation courtesy of Anthony Bourdain – This pizzeria is located behind the Vatican, and serves some delicious and unique slices with creative toppings, like butternut squash, duck, black cherries, or simply a classic caprese.
  • La Scala: Located in the Trastevere neighborhood, this Italian Trattoria serves simple homemade pasta with delicious sauces- Be sure to take a stroll through the Trastevere streets and grab some gelato!

Florence, Italy

Located just 144 miles away from the Capital of Italy, Florence is the main city of the Tuscan Region. With shops galore and restaurants that serve traditional Tuscan cuisine, this quaint city offers many things to do and see.

Things To See in Florence:

  • Statue of David: Created in 1504 by Michelangelo, this statue is still one of the most well-known statues ever created.

  • The Duomo: The Cathedral Church in Florence, the largest dome in the world, built with brick and mortar.
  • Tuscan Wineries: Take a tour of Tuscany and visit a local Winery. This is a truly rewarding experience for any traveler, not just those who love wine!

(The above photo was taken by Monica, and not Photoshopped)

Places To Eat in Florence:

  • Ponte Vecchio Bridge: Grab a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine, and some good cheese and head over to the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, where you can sit and “people watch.”
  • Antico Noe – Although this hole in the wall is difficult to find, it’s worth using the ancient map to find it. You will have to be patient to eat the best Panini of your life, but the trek and wait are well worth it!
  • Make sure to stop in one of the many Gelaterias for a delicious frozen treat.

Paris, France

Paris in May sounds like a dream! One of the most highly anticipated stops in Paris is at The Louvre. Although a few of us were somewhat underwhelmed by the Mona Lisa, which is located on a huge wall on the first floor of the Denon Wing, and she’s tiny!


Another wonderful thing to do while in Paris is wake up early on a Sunday morning and check out the Farmer’s markets. They are everywhere, and manage to involve all the senses – taste, touch, sight, sound & smell!!

The Eiffel Tower lived up to its billing, although it’s somewhat disappointing that you can’t see the view of the Eiffel Tower from the Eiffel Tower! Make a reservation at Georges, on the Centre Pompidou and enjoy a delicious meal, in an even better ambiance, with the most spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower!


Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The monuments, architecture and views make Prague a can’t-miss city when visiting Europe!

When in Prague, do as the Czechs do:

  • Walk across the Charles Bridge
  • Visit Old Town Square – Go to the top of the clocktower for gorgeous views of the ancient city

  • Paddleboat on the Vlatava river
  • Visit the John Lennon wall

  • Eat at U dvou velbloudu – located in the center of Prague where you can find delicious Czech cuisine with a homey feel.
  • Enjoy a beer (or a few) at the Beer Factory

Lausanne, Switzerland

Lausanne is the second-largest city on Lake Geneva, and is known as the Olympic Capital. With breath taking views of the lake and France across the way, this is a must-see city. Transportation is great here, as the city is mostly car-free and has a great metro and bus system to get you anywhere. Check out the Musee Olympique (Olympic Museum) that is set in a beautiful park right on Lake Geneva. Be sure to also visit Musee de l’Art Brut (“Outsider Art”) which features exhibitions from prisoners and asylum patients, and other one-off individuals.


Lucerne, Switzerland

Lucerne, the gateway to central Switzerland sites on Lake Lucerne and surrounded by mountains. The center of the city is connected by the Chapel Bridge, the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe built in the 13th century.


Use the bridge to get from one side of the city to the other. You may even catch people tying their surfboards to the bridge, and “surfing.” Also check out Chateau Gutsch. Climb up the 296 steps, where you certainly deserve a drink at the top, and check out the gorgeous views of the city and the mountains.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal is a great city to explore. It is not “tourist-y”, so you get the chance to blend in with the locals. First, visit the neighborhood of Belem which sits on the water, and go to Pasteis de Belem and eat some of the best pastries you’ve ever had. For dinner, head to Camponesa de Santa Catarina. This small restaurant is a little hard to find, but is worth it. Try anything on the menu, and if the owner is there he will become your new best friend. The beaches around Lisbon are great – hop on the train and stop at any of the beaches. Be warned though, the water is freezing!

Fuel Economy Rules May Affect Future New Car Sales

As if rising gas prices weren’t bad enough, now consumers have something else to worry about when it comes to buying a new car in the future. Current proposed fuel economy rules and the Obama administration’s previous fuel economy mandates may raise the average price of new passenger cars and light trucks by nearly $3,000! NADA released a study on April 12th about the effects these proposed standards will have on the consumers and the new vehicle market, and their Magic Eight ball shows: Outlook Not So Good.

So, how did we get to this place, where most Americans will not be able to afford a new car, much less the gas they need to fuel that car? To understand what’s at the core of this issue, we need a little history lesson. Get ready for some acronyms:

In 1975, Congress enacted the CAFE program (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) to reduce energy consumption by increasing the fuel economy of cars and light trucks. There are two major players involved with CAFE: The NHTSA (Nation Highway Traffic Safety Administration), which administers the CAFE program and is responsible for setting fuel economy standards; and the EPA, which provides fuel economy data and calculates the average fuel economy for each manufacturer.

With direction from President Obama, the NHTSA and EPA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas emission regulations for MY 2025 light-duty vehicles. These new regulations will effectively raise the price of the average car/light truck by $3,000. While the goal of this legislature is good – it addresses our dependence on imported oil in the US, looks to save consumers money at the pump, and attempts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases – it seems that in our haste to pass legislation for the greater good, these new regulations may create a very bad situation for new car buyers and manufacturers.

In fact, NADA estimates that nearly 7 million lower income consumers, such as college students and working families, will not qualify for auto financing for these higher priced new cars. Higher new car prices, a poor economy and tougher Bank restrictions for loans will make it more difficult for the average consumer to buy a new car. (NADA’s study is based on a report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics on consumer expenditures, which analyzes consumer debt-to-income ratios.)

So what do we do? Hope for better public transportation? Dream of new technologies that will make cars more fuel efficient? Move closer to the office and walk to work? Buy a used car and guzzle gas the old fashioned way? I will refer to the Magic 8 Ball for the solution:

Will Rush Limbaugh Survive?

Rush Limbaugh, conservative talk show host, is scrambling to survive following his comments towards Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, who spoke about contraception on Capitol Hill. The numbers are flying in regard to how many of his advertisers have jumped ship. Reports have mentioned as many as 42 , including national brands such as JC Penney, Capital One, Netflix, ProFlowers, Sleep Number and Quicken Loans. Yesterday it was reported  that a total of 86 ads ran during the WABC broadcast of his show, of which 77 or roughly 90% were public service announcements. In addition, there was 5:33 minutes of dead air! Only 9 paid advertisers aired and of them, 7 have stated that they will take future steps to ensure their ads do not run in his program.

Rush assured his listeners on-air yesterday that “everything’s cool”, but can his show survive without advertiser support? Michael Harrison of  Talkers magazine reports,

“I think he will survive based upon whether or not listeners abandon him, and there’s not sign of that. If anything, certainly this week, his audience is much larger than it was last week because of all the attention he’s getting.”

Some listeners may remain but only if his affiliates continue to broadcast his show. Many affiliates have reportedly considered dropping the show from their network, which would result in a huge drop in his listener base. Despite Rush’s apology earlier this week, it was reported this morning that U.S. Senator Carl Levin of Michigan is calling for Armed Forces network to stop airing the Rush Limbaugh program. A Raleigh radio station WRDU often noted as “Rush Radio” is getting pressure from a local liberal blogger who created a petition urging the UNC Athletic department to rethink its relationship with the local station, which airs a majority of their sporting events.

Are these actions against free speech or is this censorship?  No said a women in Lincoln, Nebraska who staged a one woman protest at the Lincoln Rush affiliate, KLIN. “We’re not against free speech, Rush has the right to say what he whatever he wants….I am protesting what he said, not his right to say it.”

Free speech does not seem to be the issue here, the fact is, Rush crossed the line in personally defaming someone. Comments that many have claimed were “disgusting” and “derogatory” have stirred up strong emotions in the general public. The public, Rush forgot, that are consumers of so many of the advertisers on his program. How can his platform remain without the dollars to support it? As an agency, we have to protect our clients from backlash of consumer boycott and advertisers have to protect their consumer base. If Rush does not stick to offending with his political opinions versus personally offending and defaming people, this could be the beginning of the end. It will likely come down to the listeners; if they continue to support him, the advertising dollars will follow. Bottom line, advertisers want to be where they can reach the most amounts of people.

Just yesterday a long time advertiser and business partner of the show, Sleep Train tried to regain its endorsement with the show and the Rush show rejected Sleep Trains request.  Limbaugh spokesperson, Brian Glicklich responded, “Rush appreciates your long friendship and your past support, and we wish good luck in the future.”

Will Rush survive? They seem to have the confidence by turning away long time partners.  Only time will tell how short the consumer’s attention spans will last. As the presidential race heats up, it will only take the next controversy for the public to forget. My prediction: we are nation that is easily distracted and as long as his listener base returns so will the dollars.