Leading advertising executive says “giving digital ads away for free is dumb” and reminds publishers to understand their role
During one of the final panels at MPA’s 4th Magazines 24/7 digital conference titled “Ad Sales: Are You Structured for Digital Growth?” Jacki Kelly, Executive VP of Media Sales for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia grabbed the audience’s attention by stating flat-out that giving away digital ads for free as part of a print package deal is just dumb. “Am I the only one here who feels this way?” asked Kelly. From a quick look around the room, the answer was no.
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Kelly mentioned that the future of print really is incredible, because it drives so many things. “There is definitely a challenge, but print plays such a critical role (in driving the success of other platforms),” said Kelly. Functional expertise is still required, said Kelly, and it’s important to avoid creating a competitive environment internally.
The moderator of this panel, Mark Dacey from Korn/Ferry International said that in a recent conversion with an unnamed “senior magazine publisher”, he was told that “Integrated ad sales are like sex – everyone’s talking about it, but no one is doing it.”