As we’ve previously noted, you know you’re in an advertising slump when the advertising business starts advertising advertising. But the radio business is doubly screwed, because it’s not just advertisers bailing out on radio, but actual listeners, who are spending more time with Apple (AAPL) iPods, video games, the Web, etc.
Top executives at leading radio companies acknowledged Wednesday the industry’s rocky times, but attributed it more to perception than reality. Advertisers have failed to appreciate the appealing content and marketing opportunities that radio offers, they said.
“We don’t have much leverage because there’s a perception that somehow radio is dated or radio has lost its fastball,” said John Hogan, the president-CEO of Clear Channel.
But the executives, who spoke at an Advertising Week event, said radio offers content that connects to consumers in a personal, emotional, immediate way–and ad agencies don’t realise that radio holds its audience better than other mediums.
“We have a perception problem, not a consumption problem,” said Jeff Smulyan, the president-CEO of Emmis Communications.
Smulyan added that “on Madison Avenue, radio may be considered a dinosaur,” but that’s not the case “on Main Street.” Top radio executives have spoken about the perception deficit before.
Come to think of it, we have plenty of perception problems as well: Our apartment isn’t actually cramped. It just seems that way when you’re in it. And our checking account isn’t alarmingly low. It just looks that way, if you’re obsessed with dollars and cents. So good luck licking this problem, radio guys. We’re rooting for you.
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