NMEC chief shrugs off criticism of Forum to vet Millennium Dome ads

New Millennium Experience Company managing director Liam Kane has defended his decision to set up the Millennium Marketing Forum – a committee of senior advertising figures who will vet marketing plans for the Dome.

Kane says the role of the eight-strong Forum – formed last week and including top advertising figures Chris Powell, chief executive of BMP DDB; MT Rainey of Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe; and Jim Faulds of Faulds Advertising – is to “define the Millennium Experience, and to decide what is the exact nature of the final brief to M&C Saatchi”.

The Forum will meet every two months with Kane and marketing director Sholto Douglas-Home. It also includes Center Parcs managing director Peter Moore and Matthew Freud of Freud Communications.

Some advertising sources say the Forum will neuter M&C’s ad plans, by obliging the agency to present ideas to some of its fiercest rivals in the business. M&C was appointed in controversial circumstances to the 16m Dome account last August, and M&C partner Bill Muirhead is also on the Forum.

But Kane says: “The Forum is not meant to be running a rule over M&C Saatchi and Claydon Heeley, it is more a forum for discussions. It will give an outside perspective on the 20 different consumer groups we want to look at.” He says the target groups include 15- to 45-year-old ABC1s.

Kane also claims Dome sponsors could be signed up to two months before the Dome is due to open at the end of next year.

News Analysis, page 21

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