INTERNATIONAL: ME AND MY MARKET - New York is still the media capital of the world. By Paul Woolmington

America is loved and hated - sometimes by those closest to it. All that is good and all that is bad are here in some degree, at some time.

America is loved and hated - sometimes by those closest to it. All

that is good and all that is bad are here in some degree, at some


America and New York in particular are places of individual dreams, many

of which are realised, many of which die. A media world without America

would be a bland place indeed, for here all things are tried and all

things are hoped for.

In attempting to contrast the US media model and the UK/European

version, I could not help but observe some similarities.

The Big are getting Bigger as media ownership and control are being

increasingly concentrated into fewer hands. Time-Warner Turner - now the

undisputed largest media company in the world - has approximately

dollars 21 billion of revenues and interests as far-reaching as the

meaning of the term ’media’ can be stretched. Theme parks, major sports

teams, film studios, TV stations, press, music labels, online services -

you name it, they probably have it.

Paradoxically, the media consumer is increasingly taking control and

becoming king. Media diversification and fragmentation abound (often as

not through those same large media groups). More specialist media

segments exist or have been created in America than anywhere else in the

world - every conceivable niche appears to be in some way catered for,

or about to be.

Not content with music channels, there is the Nashville Network. Not

only the Discovery Channel, but Discovery II ’Animal Planet’ which

promises only wildlife (African not New York variety). Not only

traditional fashion magazines, but Mode, a soon-to-be launched title

billing itself as America’s ’first fashion magazine to speak to

full-figured women with accuracy, intimacy and integrity’. Even though

some parts of Europe have 40-50 channel choices, most metro centres in

America have had more than 60-70 for years, thus making it the centre of

the remote-control universe.

All these are supported by an advertising industry which is worth in

excess of dollars 60 billion per annum. Consider this: the largest

single American advertiser alone spent more than dollars 1.5 billion

last year on domestic media.

These awesome sizes have created a very ’grown-up’ industry with high

degrees of specialisation. Specialists by market sector (i.e. cars,

telecoms, package goods), by target audience (i.e. children, teens,

grey), by media function (i.e. network broadcast, spot TV, magazines,

radio, research, new media, out-of-home, newspapers, direct


American media groups have always been expert at marketing value-added

media packages providing ’turn-key’ solutions, as it is phrased


However, the really exciting media game in town is how these ’media

partnership programmes’ can be leveraged further, for instance, in the

form of business marriages between large clients and media groups (such

as the McDonald’s and Disney alliance), and the creation of symbiotic

relationships which encompass all types of business and communication.

This is media unconfined by media as we in ad agencies know it, and is

what I’m trying to achieve.

Paul Woolmington, the former managing director of 20/20 Media, moved to

New York last year to become the worldwide head of media strategy at

Ammirati Puris Lintas.