Advertisers switch on to consumers

I write in regard to your cover story “Switched off” (MW last week). The cost of advertising on TV is surely not the only cause of exasperation with the medium. What about the role of the consumer in the process of advertising communication? The vision of a passive and, presumably, grateful consumer derives from the same perspective that only recognises outdoor, press and radio as the serious alternatives.

Increasingly campaigns that successfully change attitudes to brands and build sales are campaigns that create interaction, by which I mean more than a laugh at a funny commercial. Whether the channel is direct mail, Internet or digital television, today’s media model is one of real-time, consensual interaction between brand and users. It is time to let “Tell and Sell” marketing rest in peace.

Naturally, there will always be ad agencies for which size does matter in TV terms, but at least senior marketers are coming round to a more challenging view of media utility. As a result we pave the way, not just for more responsive consumer technology, but for the sort of responsible corporation that Ralph Nader first advocated when TV advertising was selling exploding Ford Pintos.

Mark Fiddes

Creative director

Davies Little Cowley Fiddes

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