Online advice – a balanced view

Rob Furber (“Early start”, MW March 9) is right to highlight the unresolved questions that interactive advertising poses for advertisers. Although nobody has a monopoly on good advice in uncharted territory, the important thing for advertisers is to tread carefully in looking for it.

There is a danger that online and digital media are becoming too fashionable. Investors are falling over themselves to buy stocks in dot-coms, advertisers are clamouring to try the Internet and interactive marketing, and new media agencies are springing up almost every week to advise them how to do so.

I would not presume to predict the future of Internet stocks, but I do offer a word of caution to advertisers about new media specialisation. If you want a balanced view of how to spend your money, go to an agency that is not exclusively committed to online. These days any mainstream media agency worth its salt has developed its own online skills. The advice you receive should cover the appropriate mix of online and offline options.

You are more likely to get that balance from a broadly-based media agency.

Guy Sellers

Joint managing director

Total Media

London SW1

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