Time to play ball with the Internet

Sport, online advertising, international client/agency relationships and the fostering of brand loyalty will be among the dominant themes affecting the commercial communications industry across Europe during the coming year.

The event of 1998 will be the World Cup. Hosted by France, it will be of enormous significance to millions of people in Europe and globally and will have a profound impact on all of the communications disciplines.

Sponsorship and integrated communications will be priorities, as will the issue of “ambush marketing”. Contests on the field will be mirrored by those off it. The most notable will be between the sportswear rivals, Nike and Adidas (MW December 4).

1998 will be the year when the long-awaited digital and high definition television (HDTV) revolution spreads to the UK. Consumers here will get their first opportunity to experience almost limitless television choice. This will prompt an escalation in the pace of audience fragmentation and the beginning of real convergence between television, telecommunications and online activities.This changing media scene will continue to transform the work of media buyers. In 1998 they will be called upon for media and marketing advice, far more than planning and buying.

Many international advertising agencies looked beyond the uncharted territory of the Internet for the more immediate benefits of establishing Intra-net and Extranet systems in 1997.These enabled agencies to improve their internal communications and begin to transform the way in which agencies work with clients on an intemational basis.

Those clients who join their agency’s Intranet will see the need for international travel and face-to-face meetings diminish as geography becomes less of a barrier to close day-to-day client/agency working relationships.

In conjunction with videoconferencing, intranets will lead to significant cost savings for clients while allowing them an improved international account and creative management service.

If 1997 was the year of the Intranet, 1997 will be the year when the commercial potential of the Internet begins to crystallise in Europe. US-based new media companies have begun to unlock the long-term value of Websites and online advertising. A number of these commercially-focused operations, among them the dynamic KPE, architect of the Clinton/Gore election site, look well placed to transfer their US experience to the European market in 1998.

Finally, in the coming year, the issue of consumer loyalty to brands will continue to preoccupy agencies and advertisers alike. Agencies will be called upon not just to build brands, but to find new ways to use the tools of commercial communications to ensure that they remain strong to the end of the millennium and beyond.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here