National advertisers hit key issues at "Power of Urban Radio"


The strategic importance of the 710 billion African American market and how to most effectively engage this major consumer group, along with the ramifications of Arbitron’s PPM technology, were the prime topics of discussion at Interep’s ninth annual Power of Urban Radio event 9/20 in NYC.

A crowd of more than 200 execs attended the event, which included remarks from Sherman Kizart, SVP/Urban Marketing, Interep; David Kennedy, CEO/Vice Chairman, Interep; and Jeff Haley, President/CEO, RAB. These were followed by a keynote address from Tony Ponturo, VP/Global Media, Anheuser Busch & President/CEO, Busch Media Group.   

National advertisers took the stage for a panel discussion, "The Strategic Importance of the African American Market to Help Grow Business." The group included executives from Coca-Cola, State Farm, Wal-Mart, Verizon and P&G. Andrea Brown, who manages a portfolio of 80 brands at Coca-Cola, said that "radio needs to reclaim its rightful spot as the first interactive medium," adding that radio "has a unique way of communicating with people."

"Urban Radio in a PPM World" included Rick Cummings, President/Radio Division, Emmis; Julian Davis, Director, Urban Media Service, Arbitron; and Mark O’Neill, Partner, ROI Media Solutions.  ROI Media Solutions was brought in to help synthesize the "new currency" and how it can best be used by radio sellers and buyers.

Next was "Agency Perspective on PPM and How an Investment in Urban Radio Grows Business." Participating were Robbyn Ennis, Media Supervisor/Local Broadcast, Global Hue; Coreen Gelber, SVP/Local Media Director, PHD; Paul Hunt, VP/Media Director, Burrell Communications Group; Kay Lucas, SVP/Media Director, Carol H. Williams Advertising; Dennis McGuire, VP/Regional Spot Director, Carat; and Matthew Warnecke, Partner, Director, Network/Local Radio Services, MediaCom.

McGuire said that "PPM should give us the tools to go to clients to show them how radio will work for them. We can show that radio can deliver reach." According to Gelber, "there is a lot for us to learn. It’s the new currency, the new reality. If you are not the champion of the new data, you’ll be a victim of it. The PPM data allows stations to better understand who they are." Warnecke agreed, saying that "PPM will provide great, robust data. Clients had to adjust to TV people meters too, so we all we adjust to this as well."