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THE RUNDOWN It was a year filled with thrills (the presidential election), spills (the auto industry) and bitter pills (the economy), but for direct marketers — and a growing number of traditional marketers — ROI was the unwavering focus of 2008. In DMNews’ first annual “Rundown,” we count down the biggest stories, issues and campaigns of the year.

2008 10


have also hit direct marketing — though marketers are working to stay in the game with new offers, tools and tactics.

ble for making opt-out a one-step process, so consumers opting out can enter just an e-mail address to get off of a mailing list.

3. Bankruptcies

5. List squeeze

Some well-known companies hit the skids in 2008, including Lillian Vernon and Sharper Image in February, Ziff Davis Media Inc. in March, Linens ‘n Things in May and Circuit City in November. Unfortunately, DMNews reporters will likely cover more such stories in 2009.

1. USPS changes

The most popular DMNews stories in 2008 concerned the USPS. Whether it laid off employees, cut employee hours, or raised rates, the USPS was watching its bottom line. It also implemented interesting policy shifts, including changes to Move Update requirements.

2. The economy

If Time could name “Mr. Recession” its person of the year, it probably would. Tough times

In the world of lists, it seems that two heads are better than one. List company consolidation was rampant in 2008: InfoGroup — formerly InfoUSA — acquired Direct Media; ALC acquired the list management division of MKTG; and Specialists Marketing Services merged Response Media’s list management division into its business.

7. Don’t boohoo for Yahoo

Yahoo yodeled its way onto an uncertain path late this year: In October, it said it would cut 10% of its work force, while days later it announced it would invest at least $100 million in a new data and customer care center. Huh? Then, Google pulled out of a long-discussed advertising services agreement, and shortly thereafter CEO Jerry Yang said he would return to his old role as “Chief Yahoo,” as soon as a replacement was named.

4. Yes, we CAN-SPAM

The FTC enacted four new provisions to the original 2003 CAN-SPAM act. The result? Email marketers are now responsi-

9. They will find you

Audience measurement giants Nielsen Co. and ComScore Inc. turned their penetrating gazes to mobile this year. In June, Nielsen launched @plan to measure lifestyle and demographics info for users of mobile Web sites, while ComScore acquired M:Metrics to gauge usage and behavior on the third screen.

10. Agency backs digital print

6. TJX data scandal ends

The multimillion-name data breach that affected The TJX Companies Inc. didn’t officially wind down until the middle of the year. In March, the FTC reached a settlement with TJX. Next, MasterCard got TJX to agree to provide issues up to $24 million for data breach claims. Finally, in August, those nefarious hackers were charged for the crime.

Google split DoubleClick Performics down the middle and sold its SEM side.

8. Speaking of Google

What didn’t Google do this year? In a major move in the online ad space, Google finally completed its $3.1 billion acquisition of digital marketing company DoubleClick. The acquisition took nearly a year, including an investigation by the FTC and the European Commission, after which

When holding company Omnicom partnered with computer maker Hewlett-Packard to co-pilot a global digital print supply chain, the alliance added credence to the notion that digital print is changing the way marketers can customize, personalize and globally distribute printed communications. And, with two large companies investing heavily in print, any rumors that the channel is dying were squashed. | December 22, 2008 | DMNEWS | 11


2. YouTube takeover

The President-elect racked up YouTube plays of his weekly national address, as viewers shifted their focus from skateboarding dogs and pianoplaying cats.



Devoted to the most important people in the marketing industry: The consumers. Our favorite topic is “Badvertising,” which offers true lessons on what not to do.

Circulation Mags rally around the digital flag

3. Direct mail doesn’t die 7. The Rich and Not So Famous — Casino Gamblers The people on this list should not be sold short. There must be room for some on the “Celebrities” list, right?

8. Conservative Friends of California “Get our companion list, ‘Gazelle friends of lions!’”

1. Dads Who Throw Turkeys

It turns out this list has something to do with bowling.

2. Mancation Nation

Apparently, a “mancation” is when dudes go on a trip together to do stuff, like hunt and drink canned beer. No word if “gassiness” was a selection.

3. Celebrities

The 43,525 people in this list’s universe seemed like a lot — until we realized that with reality TV, many people have gotten their 15 minutes.

4. My Colon MD

This is a misplaced comma away from turning into the name of a doctor with a very unfortunate name.

5. Hard Times

Brrring, brrrring. “Hello, list company, do you have a list of people that are generally miserable?” “Why yes, yes we do.”

9. Catholic Bookstores

A list with a total universe of 339. Is it still priced in cost per thousand?

10. Boat Owners — Fishing & Pleasure

“Hey, have you got the boat owners list finalized yet?” “Yeah, I’m just trying to jazz up the title a little bit. What are two things you can do on a boat?”



1. A simply social campaign

Every candidate had a MySpace or Facebook page to keep their supporters informed on policy issues and updated on campaign stops. It was fun to keep track of who had the most Facebook fans — any ideas who that was?

6. The Collagen Store

Some natural foods stores offer bulk soap products out of huge pump barrels. We imagine the Collagen Store does this with collagen. Ewwww.

Internet marketing is clearly no longer just a synonym for display ads — in fact, display ad spending is expected to continue its slowdown in the coming year, according to research firm eMarketer. This might explain why, after a surge in ad network growth, companies have consolidated and are promoting ad-serving functionality, such as behavioral targeting and rich media, rather than pure reach. For the display ads that are bought, interaction and engagement are more important than ever. Brands looking to stand out have

4. Those blasted robocalls

incorporated streaming video, roll-overs, and even widgets into online campaigns. Marketers also realized that adding social media aspects to campaigns in unique ways — whether it is through Facebook engagement ads, MySpace widgets or YouTube videos — is becoming more essential to reach consumers online. However, with the wealth of interaction and data comes the responsibility of privacy and secure data collection. The FTC and Congress spent time this year discussing behavioral tracking. And, after users decried Facebook’s invasive Beacon program, most online companies chose uber-transparency, as evidenced by Google Chrome’s cloak option and the Eraser. -Mary Elizabeth Hurn

These automated, prerecorded calls annoyed voters so much that they may have considered voting for a third party candidate. We hope 2008 was the last year we’ll ever have to hear about these monstrosities.

5. Obama as video game star

Obama’s campaign inserted virtual billboards into online games such as Madden 2009 and Burnout Paradise. Gamers in only 10 states were able to see the ads — not surprisingly, all were swing states.

6. Ron Paul shakes things up

Texas Congressman Ron Paul drummed up an amazing amount of support for his campaign on the Internet, raising $4.2 million from more than 37,000 online donors. Any direct marketer has to be impressed with that number. Obama supporters could receive a text message announcing his vice presidential pick. DMNews executive editor Sharon Goldman, however, was crushed that she didn’t receive hers.

8. All about Twitter

For the presidential campaignaddicted, following candidates on Twitter was the perfect fix.

9. Digging the data

No one leveraged the numbers like Obama — his e-mail database of some 10 million supporters allowed him to easily galvanize them. And, he’s holding on tight to those names for potential future use.



Plenty of “inside baseball” info on all the players in the search world, as well as tips for novices.


7. Obama as mobile marketer

Internet Marketing Display slows down; viral catches hold

There is always a place for good old direct mail in a presidential campaign. Flyers and other direct mail pieces informed millions of Americans about John McCain and Barack Obama’s views – and hopefully were recycled.



The brainchild of Alisa LeonardHansen offers insight into all things social media. Want to read a blog with a passionate edge? Look no further.

You’ll find most interesting and distracting interactive campaigns: One moment, you’re playing soccer with French superstars; the next, you’re making music videos for Radiohead.


Tech geek, mobile head and social media guru contributors make Mashable a must-read.


Editor Andy Beal and his large staff of contributors keep their collective finger on the pulse of the online marketing world.


A one-stop-shop for all things postal, this no-nonsense blog highlights news stories and updates in the wide world of snail mail.


An ambitious blog for an ambitious audience, editor and writer Guy Kawasaki tackles big marketing topics with lighthearted humor.


This hip, fun and current blog — featuring the wit of editor Steve Hall — shouldn’t be missed.


Challenges mounted in the world of magazine and newspaper publishing over the course of the year, thanks to both the economic decline and the increasing popularity of the Internet as a news destination. Smart publishers embraced the Internet fully, not halfheartedly. So, Web sites — including those of the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal — were revamped; social networks were added; and videos, podcasts, e-newsletters and digital editions popped up everywhere. Many publishers reached out to new constituencies in an attempt to keep up flagging print circ numbers. The US Spanishspeaking population proved a hot market for many — particularly family-oriented brands like Disney and Meredith. Publishers also pumped up loyalty and engagement efforts to hold on to existing readers. Some even allowed those readers to take control with “DIY” editions and “citizen reporters.” Of course, for cost-conscious companies, cutbacks were inevitable. Layoffs were rampant, with publishers sometimes letting go of entire marketing and editorial departments — and in some cases, entire publications. -Lauren Bell

3. YouTube new media that DM loves

1. iPhone

This mobile wonder has more than 10,000 applications that allow peer-to-peer geo- and psychographic targeting and consumer reviews for brands, products and nonprofit groups.

2. Facebook fan pages

Facebook’s fan pages took off this year as a way for companies to stop standing on the social network sidelines. Pages serve both as a stand-alone brandbuilding tool as well as a place to introduce products, drive e-commerce and let “fans” interact with one another.

Now with metrics! Direct marketers applauded when YouTube pioneered online video tracking in 2008, allowing video makers access to YouTube Insight analytics software to monitor their video traffic.

4. Reviews and ratings

Since Amazon birthed the concept during the Internet’s nascent period, it’s been picked up by most e-commerce sites and become more reliable and transparent. Why buy anything these days without knowing what someone else thought?

5. WOM marketing 2.0

From tell-a-friend e-mails to viral group rewards programs, online contests and special interest blogs, this year was all about getting your buyers to share with their friends.

12 | DMNEWS | December 22, 2008 |

6. Behavioral targeting

In 2008, ad networks and technology firms got better at interpreting data and defining keywords that work. The proof it’s acceptable? When given an informed choice, most consumers say “yes” to cookies.

7. Mystery and intrigue

Following in LonelyGirl15’s footsteps, marketers honed their skills in the capture, shock, reveal routine this year. Honda, HBO, Samsung and others launched pushes with seeded videos and unbranded content in order to pique consumer attention and reel in eyeballs.

2. “Brands aren’t serving dinner anymore; we’re just at the table trying to have a dinner conversation like everyone else.” -Richard Binhammer, senior manager of social media and blog outreach, Dell 3. “We expect the new fiscal year to be another difficult one for the Postal Service and the entire mailing industry, as economic factors will continue to reduce mail volume and increase expenses.” -Postmaster General John Potter 4. “Change takes a lot longer than you think. And when it happens, it’s much more radical. This year people will watch 400 billion hours of TV and [spend] only 20 billion hours online.” -Michael Steib, director of TV Ads for Google, at Ad:tech New York

8. TV digital distribution

You can’t turn on your TV without hearing about the February 17 switch to digital TV, which is fantastic news for direct marketers. On-demand extra content and click-to-buy features, as well as new stats from DVRs and commercial tracking, all show that even mainstream media wants to get in on the measurable results direct has to offer.



1. “The future of media is not necessarily about an ad that needs to be bought and placed in a specific spot. It may be more about an iPhone application or a Facebook tool that needs to run.” -Tom Bedecarre, CEO of AKQA

5. “The cost of print, production and distribution is high, and more people are getting their news on a daily basis online.” -Susan Hackney, VP of marketing, Christian Science Monitor 6. “Mobile is a unique way to connect with consumers. Marketing a Coke to someone who is walking past a convenience store is a great way to connect at the point of purchase.” -Tom Daly, group manager, strategy and planning, global interactive marketing, Coca-Cola 7. “Every marketer really only wants to communicate with people who want to hear from them. They don’t want to be wasteful…” -John Greco, president & CEO, DMA 8. “User-generated content is the most effective form of marketing in a tough economy.” -Sam Decker, CMO of Bazaarvoice

E-MAIL MARKETING Traditional digital channel gets its sexy back As “sexy” channels such as social media and mobile emerge, the more traditional digital channel, e-mail, continues to thrive. E-mail fared well in the poor economy, thanks to its cost-efficient model and ability to deliver ROI. Account wins, such as Body Glove’s selection of Lyris and Bebe Stores’ move to CheetahMail, show the business is still alive and kicking. E-mail marketers became even more savvy about triggering e-mails based on behavioral data; targeting messages



PRINTING & PRODUCTION Sector shifts into digital

7. Sean Kimerling Testicular Cancer Foundation hits mens’ funny bones A series of humorous online videos encouraging self-testing for testicular cancer in men hit just the right tone. Guys seem to really enjoy watching these videos — they have garnered more than 1.8 million YouTube views.

1. Procter & Gamble has game

The Prilosec OTC Winning Play Giveaway was a great example of how consumer goods brands are experimenting with new media to drive impressions in a cost-effective way. P&G paired a sweepstakes with social media, including a widget promoted to sports bloggers.

2. American Airlines soars

The airline tackled the tough challenge of communicating how a widget works using direct mail. The resulting campaign soared: All the tools for making trip planning easier were provided, and preliminary results show more than 38,000 downloads of DealFinder.

3. E.L.F. Cosmetics finds the right guy



1. TravelZoo

“I got an e-mail from Travelzoo with the subject “NEWSFLASH: Belize from New York City, $80 Roundtrip!” and immediately forwarded to a friend and booked a five-day vacation through the site. It was personalized with my departure city, and had a great price point. The copy of the e-mail was written like an insider news story and asked me to visit Orbitz as a preferred travel partner.” –Cara Wood, editor-in-chief

2. BJ’s Warehouse

Some real thought went into the company’s targeting strategy for a Valentine’s Day e-mail promotion that would appeal to both men and women, with the expectation that the latter would forward it to their significant others.

“I live 20 miles from the nearest BJ’s Warehouse and had been considering trying it out for some time, but never got around to making the trip. Earlier this year, it mailed me a card giving me a two-month free membership, which was enough to get me to drive the 20 miles to try it out.” -Chantal Todé, senior editor

4. Allstate gets greasy

3. AT&T was a beautifully designed online community that echoed the real life world of motorcyclists, with actual mechanics providing useful information.

5. USA Today listens based on past purchases; and sending marketing messages within a transactional e-mail. We also saw more e-mail marketers embrace testing and retesting campaigns. Publishers also used e-mail to sell ad space within their e-mail newsletters, showing more potential to monetize the channel. But others entered the e-mail space without knowledge of some key best practices, so consumers are getting inbox overload. And, with consumers’ attention wandering to mobile e-mail and social networks, the stakes are higher for e-mail marketers to be more relevant and to make sure that their messaging renders correctly. -Dianna Dilworth

Kaboodle users were automatically entered into a sweepstakes when they used an item of clothing from JCPenney while creating online outfits called Styleboards.

At least one newspaper understands how to try to be a part of the online conversation. USA Today used banner ads to highlight that visitors to its Web site can comment on news stories. Unique visitors to the site climbed 13%.

“AT&T sent me a text message in January regarding unlocking my cell phone so I could use it in Europe. Because I was leaving for Europe for a month, I couldn’t refuse the $5 per month upgrade that allowed for international roaming. I don’t know if AT&T was reading my mind, but its text was extremely relevant and led to my purchase.” -Jonathan Mack, editorial assistant

4. J. Jill

6. JCPenney gets schooled

A back-to-school example from JCPenney and online social community Kaboodle recognized that young consumers appreciate simple interfaces such as Google and Facebook.

“I really enjoyed the offers I received from over the summer — I got several entertaining e-mails a week that offered outfit recommendations and style suggestions, as well as discounts. I finally clicked through one and made a few purchases based on the photos.” –Sharon Goldman, executive editor

While there didn’t seem to be the same heady excitement around digital print in 2008 that there was a few years ago, there was still ample evidence that a digital transformation is taking place in the production sector. Agencies and clients displayed an eagerness to experiment with VDP this year and see just how far they can take this technology, including a growing use of personalized magazine and catalog covers. And there was wider acceptance of oneto-one marketing among some major national brands trying it out for the first time. The trend toward making digital print more widely available could be seen in the new presses that were introduced as well. The consolidation of the printing industry also continued. The focus was on strategic mergers that enable the resulting company to provide complete marketing programs across multiple channels, from strategy through point of sale. -Chantal Todé

5. American Express

“I signed up for an American Express card just for the 50,000 Delta SkyMiles that came with it. I think it has been using that gimmick for about a million years, but it caught me at a time when I really want to go to Paris and could never afford it otherwise.” -Lauren Bell, reporter


“Amazon sent me an e-mail informing me that I can receive 32% off The Essential Amazing Spider-Man volume 9, due to be released September 17, by preordering it. As someone who bought Essential Amazing SpiderMan volume 1 from Amazon, I like getting an offer such as this; in fact, I didn’t even know there was a new volume until reading the Amazon e-mail.” - Bryan Yurcan, reporter


“As an avid Buffalo Sabres fan, I am always seeking deals on team merchandise. After buying some Sabres T-shirts on sale from, the company’s follow-up e-mails offered more discount merchandise, helping me fill my drawers.” –Nathan Golia, copy editor | December 22, 2008 | DMNEWS | 13



of social media. We’re talking branded video games, such as McDonald’s The Lost Ring; online contests, such as Panasonic’s photo contest and Samsung’s video contest; and even a virtual Olympic torch relay — powered by instant messaging — from Coca-Cola.

3. Absolut-ly viral

1. Mad Men is a monster

In its second year, the AMC show about the lives of 1960s ad execs became a phenomenon. The days of three-martini lunches and wood-paneled offices may be long gone, but it’s also the image of the traditional TV and print-ad centric Sterling Cooper agency that seems entirely old-school.

2. Olympics gets social

Everyone and their grandma was able to personally participate in the Olympics marketing of global brands in ‘08, thanks to the 24/7, one-to-one world


It seemed like everyone was talking about “those Kanye Absolut ads” this summer, which spoofed direct response ads by touting a way to “become” Kanye West by clicking on It even spurred a New York Daily News article, “What’s up with those Kanye ads in the subway?”

4. Election Day coffee spills

Starbucks’ offer of a free cup of coffee for voters on Election Day backfired, as the law ruled that such a promotion would be illegal. The company then decided to give a free cup of coffee to anyone who asked. Many still headed to Dunkin’ Donuts.

5. Printing and production gets Trump-ified

On The Celebrity Apprentice, contestants were tasked with building a Kodak mobile printing station. Kodak CMO (and Apprentice star-for-a-moment) Jeffrey Hayzlett thought the sponsorship was picture-perfect.

The USPS’s stamp of optimism

The backbone of the industry — list marketing and direct mail delivery — certainly suffered some aches this year. Consolidation across the list market reflected fierce competition, while the US Postal Service had a difficult year financially, reporting a net loss of $2.8 billion for fiscal year 2008. Private shippers UPS, FedEx and DHL also faced declining volume and responded by investing more in overseas markets and cutting staff. But the back is far from broken. The USPS implemented a fiveyear plan for change, putting deliverability at the forefront of many of its initiatives including new Move Update standards. The list world saw several companies expand their digital lists. Those who have not yet embraced the digital front bemoaned the looming threat of do-not-mail legislation. Despite these shifts, the future of lists and direct mail could be bright if done right. In an uncertain economy, having measurable, quantifiable results is the best way to ensure that the proper budget is allocated for the next campaign. -Bryan Yurcan

3. Micro-targeting

The idea’s been around for a while, but micro-targeting seemed to blast off this year, particularly as tactics such as behavioral targeting became all the rage. Next up: Nano-targeting?

Animated sitcom Futurama appears to like poking fun at direct marketing. Data-hungry aliens used spam e-mail to take over the Earth in one installment, while a DRTV pitch inspired main character Fry to purchase a knife in a later edition.



1. Twitter

A year ago, we hardly could have imagined that Twitter would turn into not only a microblogging phenomenon, but a popular verb to describe — among other things — what marketers supposedly need to be doing. Frankly, we’re all a-twitter about the whole thing.

2. Murketing

Even The New York Times began freely using this word — which refers to creative with no mention or image of the product being marketed – in 2008.

Yahoo sinks; Niche engines swim

4. SocNet

As marketers rush wildly to figure out how to harness the power of — not to mention monetize — social networks, some shorthand has become essential. After all, two syllables saved is a half-second earned.

5. Cloud computing

Data is no longer just on people’s computers — it’s “in the clouds,” or in rich Internet applications such as Yahoo Mail and Google Docs. Tech-savvy folks have loved cloud computing for a while, but now marketers of all kinds are watching closely.

6. Smishing

It’s what mobile marketers don’t need as they work hard to maintain their reputation — that is, phishing via text message. We’d love to smush those smishers under our shoes.



1. Roger Adams, SVP and CMO, Lord & Taylor

6. Futurama turns to DRTV


Previously Home Depot’s CMO, Adams shifted gears in April to take on the newly created position at the department store, which saw plenty of buzz this year with its rebranding campaign. However, a rough holiday season and a recent management shakeup could mean tough times ahead.

2. Nanci Langley, PRC commissioner

Langley was sworn in as commissioner of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) on June 16 after being nominated by President Bush and unanimously confirmed by the US Senate.

3. Jill Beraud, CMO, PepsiCo

PepsiCo’s recent layoff woes didn’t deter it from naming Beraud, most recently Victoria’s Secret’s CMO, to the newly created position earlier this month.

4. Frank Bifulco, CMO, The Home Depot

The exec was tapped in April, after a corporate restructuring that followed the resignation of Home Depot Direct president Harvey Seegers in January.

5. Peter Horan, CEO, Goodmail

We’re happy to see advertising veteran Horan, who comes from InterActiveCorp (IAC) Media and Advertising, join the e-mail

The “Year in Search: 2008 Edition” certainly had interesting plot twists. Much of the news was obviously consumed by the possibility of a GoogleYahoo ad partnership, which increased digital marketers’ concerns about increased ad prices and dependence on a single company. After Yahoo’s CEO Jerry Yang refused a (very generous) buyout deal from Microsoft earlier this year, many thought an ad partnership with Google would help bolster the number two engine’s market share.

marketing firm. He’ll help build out the capabilities of Goodmail’s Certified Email program, which is used by most of the major e-mail mailbox providers and more than 500 brands.



1. Jerry Yang, CEO, Yahoo

He hasn’t quite hit the road yet, but many said good riddance after Yang rejected a buyout from Microsoft earlier this year for $33 per share — more than twice Yahoo’s stock value in December.

2. Florence Leighton, EVP, Direct Media

A direct marketing pioneer and DMA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Leighton retired in January at age 83. Four decades ago, she helped found Dillon, Agnew & Marton, the first international direct marketing agency.

3. Vin Gupta, chairman, CEO, InfoGroup

Excessive spending and corporate reimbursements were cited as the reasons Gupta was removed from his chairman position at InfoGroup in July. Gupta was no stranger to controversy — he was chastised earlier in the year for offensive Super Bowl ads and accused of spending company funds on personal expenditures.

4. Casey Jones, VP of global marketing, Dell

Founding father Casey Jones left his post at Dell last month. He was an advocate of developing

When neither deal happened, Yahoo was left in a relative wheredo-we-go-from-here state of mind. Yang recently resigned, and while it seems Microsoft just can’t quit Yahoo, a buyout is said to no longer be an option. Niche engines such as Ask for Kids and Rushmore Drive also became more prevalent, and are now giving advertisers increasingly more options. Additionally, visual search engines such as Searchme, Quintura and KartOO are becoming the little engines that could. Mobile search is also becoming an integral part of marketing campaigns, although the medium’s true potential remains to be seen until the masses adopt Web-enabled cell phones. -Mary Elizabeth Hurn

Enfatico (formerly DaVinci), and critics wondered how the agency would fare without his cheerleading. We’ll see.

5. Shelly Lazarus, global CEO, Ogilvy

It’s the end of an era. On January 1, Shelly Lazarus, who has led WPP-owned Ogilvy Group for 11 years, will leave her post as global CEO, remaining as chairman. Lazarus spent nearly her entire professional career at the company, beginning in 1971.



1. OMD wins Intel

Back in April, Omnicom Group’s OMD won the mediaplanning and buying duties on Intel Corp.’s $300 million global account. The technology brand has come up with some great digital work, such as the “What’s inside you” campaign that debuted in May — done in conjunction with Razorfish. Let’s hope OMD has more like that one in store for us.

2. Euro RSCG wins Jaguar

In May, luxury car manufacturer Jaguar awarded its global digital business to Euro RSCG Worldwide, which will result in an integrated brand strategy. We’ll be on the lookout for more cool mobile marketing efforts to come.

14 | DMNEWS | December 22, 2008 |

3. Interpublic Group/WPP Group wins J&J pharma

Johnson & Johnson selected Interpublic Group of Companies and WPP Group in November to handle its pharmaceutical business. According to TNS Media Intelligence, J&J spent $110 million on pharmaceutical advertising in 2007 — not exactly pocket change.

4. GSD&M wins LL Bean

In May, LL Bean named GSD&M Idea City as its AOR, including creative duties for the company’s online, print, TV and radio advertising efforts. As the cataloger opens more stores, expect to see some bigger efforts in its marketing program.



1. Crispin Porter & Bogusky loses Nike

After only 13 months and with little work to show, Nike cut ties with Crispin Porter & Bogusky in May. The athletic brand returned to Wieden & Kennedy, its partner of 26 years. Because both are considered top-of-theline agencies, we wonder what went wrong.

2. BBDO loses Pepsi

While it’s still in the Omnicom family, Pepsi ended its terms with BBDO and moved on to TBWA/ Chiat/Day. Perhaps the drop in Pepsi’s net income from $1.7 billion to $1.5 billion in the third quarter was part of the decision.

3. DraftFCB loses Verizon account to McCann Erickson

Two years after the merger of Draft and Foote, Cone & Belding, and the famous win/loss of Wal-Mart, the agency took a hard hit, losing the telecom giant this year. Some in the industry say the merger hasn’t brought out the best in the joined companies’ creative. Still, the merger has proved profitable.

4. Starbucks loses Wieden & Kennedy

You heard right. Not often does the brand lose the agency, but Wieden & Kennedy decided to quit the Starbucks account. With profits down and stores closing, it was a tough year for the coffee retailer. We’ll see if BBDO, the newly appointed agency, can bring it back.

As more CMOs focused on retaining existing customers vs. chasing the expensive, shiny, new ones, 2008 saw a surge of interest in loyalty programs, databases and rewards systems. In another recession side effect, the coupon — both print and online — and other frugal shopping tools staged a big comeback. In addition, advances in CRM technologies allowed companies to start asking consumers to talk back — through social networks and company-sponsored forums — and smart marketers actually listened to what they had to say. The economy, however, hit marketing departments hard, and some loyalty programs came under fire. This has led to in a rise in loyalty program alliances and partnerships, with companies sharing loyalty members and allowing points swaps. Integration was also key, with many CRM software users beginning widespread efforts with newer technologies such as mobile and social networks, leading to an even more indepth customer view. -Lauren Bell



1. High School Musical 3

After two successful TV movies, High School Musical 3: Senior Year had the biggest box office opening ever for a movie musical when it hit the big screens this fall. Cross-marketing feeds this phenomenon: The movie promotes the soundtrack and its stars, while all three drive sales of licensed merchandise — and social media keeps it going.

2. Dunkin’ Donuts

The brand America runs on gets major points — not only for experimenting with YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, but for actually using these tools in a way that makes sense for the brand and its target audience.

MULTICHANNEL RETAIL Searching for (any) good tidings

3. Wal-Mart

That’s not just because the retail giant’s low prices are making it one of the holiday season’s few winners. In 2008, it embarked on a series of industry-leading Internet initiatives, including a deal with Yahoo to sell display advertising inventory on Wal-Mart’s Web site; a free classifieds service; and an MP3 download store.



1. The US auto industry

It’s impossible to single out one car brand, when together the “Big Three” US auto makers are responsible for blowing wads of cash on overblown advertising budgets for gas-guzzling cars. There are recent signs that they may be finally shifting to more efficient DM strategies, but this may be too little, too late.

2. Starbucks

DATABASE/CRM Retention shines during rocky year

In support of new national brand advertising, these efforts have provided a jolt to the brand.

The premium coffee chain couldn’t seem to get anything right this year. Sales were down and regular customers visited less often, even after a new loyalty program launch. Then, its advertising agency dumped it. After years of symbolizing America’s appreciation for quality, in an economic downturn it now represents a suddenly retro taste for indulgence.

3. Microsoft

The software giant’s brands lost market share and its efforts to jumpstart Vista sales were a non-starter, even as Microsoft spent big advertising campaign bucks. Late in the year, Microsoft added new social networking capabilities, including the ability to link with other social networking sites — though MySpace and Facebook were inexplicable exceptions.



1. They saw the green light

2008 saw a surge of companies taking a green marketing vow – from New York utility company Con Edison, which launched a pro-energy-saving Web site, The Power of Green, in November; to Macy’s, which rewarded consumers for going green with its “Turn over a new leaf” campaign in April.

2. Opt-in was the “in” thing

Even mailers caught the green bug this year, introducing scads of opt-in mail programs in

Retail industry coverage gets the busiest during booms and busts, as speculators gobble up brands when things are good and companies hemorrhage personnel and brands when things are bad. It should come as no surprise that 2008 fits into the latter category. The news started out bad early on, as several catalog and Internet retailers hit the skids. Things worsened as banks tightened the screws on retailers, but the bottom didn’t really fall out until autumn, when consumer confidence – which had shown

efforts to cut down on paper and fuel waste. The DMA itself got into the fray, enhancing its DMAChoice site to make it easier for consumers to choose which catalogs they received.



1. The great greenwashing scare

remarkable resilience up until then – plummeted. Retailers didn’t lose all hope, however. The most forwardthinking continued to innovate, with social networking and mobile marketing strategies standing out. The grand finale —the holiday shopping season — began with several big questions looming. Would Thanksgiving weekend sales help consumers shake off the doldrums? Would online sales actually deliver? What if holiday sales are as bad as some are predicting? As has been widely acknowledged, several retailers currently are in vulnerable positions. The holiday season may be the last straw for some. -Chantal Todé

The FTC also revised its green marketing guidelines — the first time since the late 1990s.

2. Conservation confusion

Even with the best intentions, marketers may contribute to a larger carbon footprint than they think. E-mail marketing, for instance, is promoted as an earth-friendly alternative to direct mail, but it consumes large amounts of energy, and plastic components and servers are rarely recycled.

Suspicions that some marketers’ green claims were not entirely truthful ran high in 2008. In fact, the FTC started reviewing various green marketing claims in January, busting companies for selling pro-green consumers on falsified or inflated claims.



1. DMNews: Your source for industry news and info The new year is a great time to toot a horn, so indulge us. If you only have a few moments to read an e-mail,

browse a Web page or pick up an article — we hope DMNews provides what you need where you are. 2008 was the first full year of our redesign; we also debuted a new mobile site, podcast series, online features and more. We welcomed new staff and placed a new editorin-chief at the helm. We’ve got much more to come in ’09, so stay tuned!

DMNews Rundown  
DMNews Rundown  

DMNews counts down the top industry news, events and terms of 2008.