Media Perspective: Great to see media taking action in this economic climate

This space has proved to be an excellent outlet for abuse and sneering as media companies pathetically attempt to manage perception and attitudes towards their own brands.

Surprisingly, though, there's no room for schadenfraude this week as I have to admit myself quietly impressed by details of the new brand identity unveiled by Mindshare last week.

What stands out about this one is that it's not just a new badge and logo, but is hooked on the detail of a wider repositioning unveiled earlier this year. The move upstream makes sense and the new look reflects this. Rival agencies have scoffed and thrown in snide remarks about it costing £250,000 to change the logo and drop the capital "s" from the name. Mindshare says the £250,000 figure is grossly inflated but whatever it did cost, the effort should help, if only in a small way, to galvanise the network and pull thousands of people in roughly the same direction. And not all media networks are capable of this at the moment.

Beyond the agency world, the autumn is set to be even more savagely competitive in the television market as deflation and anxieties over adspend levels start to bite. In this context, I was impressed, too, by ITV's attempts to woo the ad community at its annual Gala Dinner last week. Held at Camden's Roundhouse, the home and graveyard of many a rock legend, ITV's Michael Grade and Rupert Howell introduced an array of talent and content.

ITV's successes haven't been much to speak about but on the evidence of last week, it is getting the content right and, in the current climate, doing something for advertisers is far better than doing nothing, even when the message isn't totally triumphant. In the context of the downturn, that's even being able to say that you're freezing your programming budgets when Channel 4 is taking the axe to its own.

ITV seems aware that the real winners this autumn, though, could be advertisers as they send in their agencies (ranked in the battalions of the pooled buying units) to do battle. And there's plenty of quality competition outside of TV for their under-pressure marketing spends. In outdoor, CBS is selling some impressive-sounding inventory around the new Westfield shopping centre and you only have to look at the quality end of the newspaper market, with massive investment in colour and new formats for advertisers, to see that media owners aren't giving up in the face of pressure.

And, back to perception, The Times' expensive teaser campaign (revealing itself as the brand on a series of print images) brought out the nimble-footed best in its small rival The Independent, which reacted with an overnight spoiler. In small pockets, the downturn is galvanising media brands and it's exciting to see.


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