Summary:

The FIPP World Magazine Congress on Tuesday afternoon got down to the real business of asking why the magazine industry is in the terrible…

image The FIPP World Magazine Congress on Tuesday afternoon got down to the real business of asking why the magazine industry is in the terrible state it finds itself in — what many delegates will readily agree is it’s the worst 12-month period anyone in the business can remember. Here’s a run-down of the debates…

Publicis Groupe: Maurice Levy, the frequently outspoken CEO of French advertising giant Publicis Groupe, served up some Gallic realism for the assembled editors and publishers: “Let’s face it,” he said, “the traditional model for analogue media is broken“. He said that online advertising is “targeted, efficient, effective, measureable, interactive and adaptible. These strengths have had serious consequences for the analogue media”. But to make mag editors feel slightly better, he added that “you are not the only one suffering from this: we, the ad agencies, have to live in a world where a couple of words on a search engine site are more effective than a wonderful piece of TV spot. C’est la vie.” For both advertisers and publishers, “blaming digital is useless” he says. “You have to adapt to this world, digital is not going to go away any time soon, this trend will not stop… it will increase: you have not yet seen anything…” More after the jump…

Luxury brands: On the other hand, many high-end advertisers, such as those representing luxury retailers, remain cautious about online because print is what they and their target audience understand. Gucci’s worldwide media director Nikolas Talonpoika told a separate session on advertising (via Guardian.co.uk): “I’m probably going against the grain here but I think 2009 will see a decrease in online spend from the luxury sector.” The problem? “The sector is very behind in a lot of areas of digital…The real problem is replicating that reader experience online.”

Google (NSDQ: GOOG) as frenemy: It didn’t take too long for speakers to accuse the world’s biggest search engine of compromising their companies’ ability to make money from online content. GMG CEO Carolyn McCall said it was “crazy” that her company should spend so much on content when Google reaps more financial benefit from it without spending anything on its creation — she said the payback in traffic was “no longer a fair swap”. BBC Worldwide CEO John Smith added: “They have 63.7 percent of all web search and that goes up every month. Unless Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) and Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) can get together, which would be 30 percent, everyone else is an also-ran. It’s very dangerous for all of us in the media world — it’s a great company but having so much money, power and eyeballs all in one place is a dangerous thing.

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