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Media Multitasking

BY CSA STAFF

Add media multitasking to the list of hurdles that retailers and other advertisers have to overcome in order to get the consumer’s attention. According to the latest Simultaneous Media Survey from BIGresearch, the only way for people to keep up with today’s deluge of media options is to multitask with other media.

“Technology is creating new-media options faster than most people can assimilate and is causing more multi-tasking,” said Gary Drenik, president, BIGresearch, Worthington, Ohio. “Unfortunately for marketers faced with the challenges of an uncertain economy and the need to increase marketing ROI, new-media options are impacting how consumers use traditional media.”

Specifically, TV’s influence on consumers to purchase products has declined. At the same time, new-media options, including instant messaging, blogging, and Web and satellite radio, have increased.

“Consumers seem to be seeking information from digital platforms,” Drenik said, “while TV has traditionally been viewed as a brand-building medium, which isn’t providing the requisite information.”

For example, instant messaging and blogging experienced double-digit growth for purchase influence of electronics, at 22% and 21.5% respectively. Broadcast TV and cable showed declines of 13.9% and 14.4%.

As a response to the changing dynamics of the consumer media market, Drenik recommended that marketers develop new marketing plans that integrate new media to new-media options to replace the erosion of traditional media for influence to purchase.

“Marketers who can’t tap new-media options for their influence to purchase will suffer a decline in advertising ROI,” he added.

Not all traditional media are declining in influence, according to the survey. Indeed, media that is targeted, timely and delivers value to consumers, such as coupons/direct mail (see related article), newspapers and newspaper inserts, was found to have increased in influence to purchase products as consumers look for ways to stretch their budgets in a tight economy.

In other survey findings:

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Wal-Mart to sell earth-friendly CDs

BY CSA STAFF

SANTA MONICA, Calif. As part of Wal-Mart’s “Earth Month” the company is selling more than 20 Universal Music Group titles that come with special earth-friendly inserts. The inserts are made with special seed paper and, according to the companies, can actually bloom into wildflowers.

The inserts, in addition to being good for the environment, also offer consumers three free digital downloads from Universal Music. Universal also said that a number of its new CDs will be packaged in third-party certified, renewable recycled board and recyclable paper.

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ODP urges rejection of Levan nominees

BY CSA STAFF

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. Office Depot is continuing to urge its shareholders to reject dissident nominees and elect the company’s nominees to its board of directors at its annual shareholders meeting this April.

In a proxy statement sent to investors, Office Depot said that Alan Levan’s proposed nominees would do little to help improve shareholder value. According to the statement, Levan’s company, Levitt Corp. has seen its share price fall about 93% over the past three years and that its subsidiary, Levitt and Sons, is in bankruptcy. Office Depot also noted that BankAtlantic, of which Levan is chairman and ceo and one of his nominees, is president of real estate, construction and development, share price has dropped approximately 75% over the past three years.

Office Depot also cited news reports that commented on Levan’s failing business ventures, as well as others that said that his nominees are not qualified to serve on Office Depot’s board of directors.

The company pointed out nominee Mark Begelman’s experience with Mars Music, a company he founded in 1997 that went bankrupt in 2002. According to Office Depot, many news reports attributed this failure to a flawed business strategy.

According to Office Depot, when Levan’s other nominee, Martin Hanaka served as chairman of Sports Authority from 1998 to 2003, the company saw its price fall by about 13%.

Office Depot stressed that its directors best understand the company and are well-suited to help the company grow.

“We strongly believe that removing two of the most experienced retailing executives from our board, including our current ceo who is driving the implementation of our strategic turnaround plan, would be highly disruptive, could delay the implementation of internal and external initiatives and could damage prospects for a successful turnaround,” Office Depot said in the proxy statement.

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