Association of National Advertisers Steppin’ Up

Stuart Elliott is at it again. Using mainstream media to bring awareness of new media. His recent article covering last week’s 96th annual conference of the Association of National Advertisers made me feel like cheering. Some highlights, which do not preclude reading the article, include some big names from big brands. They see the trends and understand it. “Too late” some would say, but I don’t. Hell, a majority of PR people are just figuring this out.

Said Stephen F. Quinn, senior vice president for marketing at Wal-Mart Stores:

“Today, the customer is in charge,” Mr. Quinn said, “and whoever is best at putting the customer in charge makes all the money.”

Said James L. McDowell, managing director at Mini USA:

“It’s a great thing every day to wake up and see what consumers have done to the brand…”

Burger King is one brand that has been pushing the limits in the social media space. Said Russ Klein, president for global marketing, strategy and innovation at Burger King:

“It’s more important for us to be provocative than pleasant.”

And perhaps most importantly:

“We can’t manage what happens out there,” said Lawrence Flanagan, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at MasterCard Worldwide. “It has taken on a life of its own.”

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