EUROPEAN MEDIA: The Expert's View

Who are the most forward-thinking media owners? And what are the most popular media in Europe? Campaign canvasses the opinion of four media minds in Europe.

GERMANY

MARTIN ALBRECHT, managing director, Crossmedia

Ignoring one of your own, what has been the best example of a creative media plan so far this year?

Everybody is tired of hearing about it, but the launch of the Mini campaign is really good, because it uses various touchpoints that are highly relevant to the target. It also boasts thorough media-message integration in simple terms: a message about smallness is delivered in a small space. The campaign is an eye-opener for many struggling with creative media ideas, because the best ideas are always the most simple ones.

Which agency (excluding your own) do you think is the most creative media agency?

The most creative campaigns are those that do not treat media just as the execution, but as a differentiator for their communications strategy. This approach is not the exclusive domain of media experts, though. The creatives at Scholz & Friends made it to the shortlist for the 2002 Cannes Media Lions with an idea for a health club client: dress male statues in Berlin with the health club's bright blue T-shirts to boost awareness and generate PR.

What has been the biggest media pitch so far this year (client and value in euros)?

Bitburger Group, with future spending estimated at around 20 million euros.

Which media owner do you think is the most forward-thinking?

Google, for its key-word targeted advertising. With its unique mix of heavily limited messaging and its measurability, it breathes much-needed new life into the concept of results-based advertising.

What is the highest-circulating monthly consumer magazine, what is its cover price and how much does a full-page ad at ratecard cost?

ADAC Motorwelt, a member's magazine of the German Roadside Assistance Club, with a circulation of more than 13 million. A full-page, four-colour ad is 95,448 euros for a broad, but somewhat uncreative, media investment.

What is the most-watched TV channel?

For adults aged 18 and over, it would be RTL, followed by Sat.1 and Pro7.

Who is the most talked-about individual in media in your country?

Leo Kirch and his crumbling media empire. Not surprisingly, some of our most vocal industry spokespeople have been silenced by the economic downturn.

FRANCE

SYLVIE DECANTE, CEO, MediaCom

Ignoring one of your own, what has been the best example of a creative media plan so far this year?

The anti-smoking campaign (INPES) was impressive as the creative idea was to position tobacco as a dangerous consumer product. The media idea was to plan the campaign as being "real news". Treated as a hot news story, a brief teaser campaign alerted people to the discovery of a highly dangerous consumer product. It was announced on TV on Sunday night and in the newspapers on Monday morning. Twelve hours later, on Monday morning, the name of this dangerous product was revealed on TV: tobacco.

Which agency (excluding your own) do you think is the most creative media agency?

Most of the media agencies claim to have a creative positioning.

What has been the biggest media pitch so far this year (client and value in euros)?

France Telecom, for a total amount (France and Europe) of 400 million euros.

Which media owner do you think is the most forward-thinking?

France Television (FTV), and more precisely its sales house France Television Publicite.

What is the highest-circulating monthly consumer magazine, what is its cover price and how much does a full-page ad at ratecard cost?

Pleine Vie, with a cover price of three euros, a circulation of 1,141,000 and a full-page ratecard cost of 25,100 euros.

What is the most-watched TV channel?

TF1.

Who is the most talked-about individual in media in your country?

Arnaud Lagardere, the chief executive of Lagardere Media, the French media company, which owns, among other things, Hachette Flipacchi Medias.

UK

MARK HOLDEN, executive planning director, PHD

Ignoring one of your own, what has been the best example of a creative media plan so far this year?

A great example of a creative use of a standard medium is an execution that Universal Pictures created for The Hulk. It ran an ad in The Guardian in which it bought a full-colour page plus the adjoining two columns on the opposite page. On these two columns they created a piece of faux-editorial (that looked like standard Guardian copy) and then had the image from the full-page exploding out over the text. Although this is not original, the aesthetic experience amplified the nature of the film.

Which agency (excluding your own) do you think is the most creative media agency?

I think the industry would agree that there isn't one single agency that has clear-water stand-out. There is a growing sense of a real gap in the market for one of the major media agencies to step out as a clear leader in creative media thinking. It's only a matter of time - and the first to do it will be there for a while.

What has been the biggest media pitch so far this year (client and value in euros)?

Procter & Gamble, worth 240 million euros.

Which media owner do you think is the most forward-thinking?

We have been impressed with GWR Group's research. But Channel 4 has quietly created a consultancy group of 20 experts who consult on the product, use of technology, marketing and so on. The output of this activity will be boundary-breaking.

What is the highest-circulating monthly consumer magazine, what is its cover price and how much does a full-page ad at ratecard cost?

FHM, with a cover price of £3.20 and £20,000 for full-page colour.

What is the most-watched TV channel?

BBC1.

Who is the most talked-about individual in media in your country?

It would probably have to be a face-off between Sir Martin Sorrell and Greg Dyke.

THE NETHERLANDS

DOM O'MEARA, operations director, Naked Amsterdam

Ignoring one of your own, what has been the best example of a creative media plan so far this year?

Diesel has really managed to get inside the minds of its target audience. Ask any twentysomething on Kalverstraat in the centre of Amsterdam to name a jeans brand and that's the one that will always spring to mind.

Which agency (excluding your own) do you think is the most creative media agency?

Kessels Kramer. Great creative use of media.

What has been the biggest media pitch so far this year (client and value in euros)?

Locally, it would be Coberco (a dairy foods brand), worth ten million euros.

Which media owner do you think is the most forward-thinking?

Bizon. A commendable no-holds-barred attitude to great media plans.

What is the highest-circulating monthly consumer magazine, what is its cover price and how much does a full-page ad at ratecard cost?

Seasons with a cover price of 4.70 euros and a full-page ad rate of 6,400 euros.

What is the most-watched TV channel?

RTL 4.

Who is the most talked-about individual in media in your country?

Kim Dingler, Heineken's media manager.

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