Forum triggers research action

Almost 1,000 delegates from client companies and marketing and advertising suppliers packed the cruise ship The Oriana to capacity for this year’s Marketing Forum.

The three-day event last week gave advertisers the chance to meet advertising agencies, design companies, direct marketing companies and consultancies as the ship sailed to the Channel Islands. There was also a programme of seminars and workshops covering issues ranging from customer loyalty to new media.

Dominic Owens, ex-head of communications for BT business, and the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers represented by director-general John Hooper, held two debates on the future of media research which could trigger collective action from a group of clients dissatisfied with current press and TV research.

Owens says: “Advertisers are spending their own money on their own groups, asking people about their mix of media. They could buy much bigger numbers if they got together.” He says ISBA will work on developing a template of additional research that clients would like carried out.

Deborah Parkes, project director at organiser Richmond Events, says one of the new elements in this year’s Forum were sessions on marketers’ personal career development.

Mike Moran, marketing director of Toyota (GB), who was at the Forum for the first time, praised the event and its organisation. “I had ten to 15 one-to-one meetings with companies, which was a good way of benchmarking my current supply base.”

Hamish Pringle, marketing director of Saatchi & Saatchi, questioned the ban on suppliers’ using signs, banners and flyers to promote themselves. He says: “It’s a fantastic event. The only thing I wonder about is the blanket ban on brand promotion.”

Alan Mitchell, page 19

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