Broadcasting Telecasting (Oct-Dec 1962)

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THE MEDIA HIGHER STANDARDS BUILD TV IMAGE Better programs, improved commercial controls will help promotion men do their work, seventh annual BPA meet told Broadcasting promotion executives must have the support of higher programming and commercial standards if they are to do a better job of building the radio and tv station and industry images. This conclusion came out of the seventh annual seminar held Oct. 29-31 by Broadcasters Promotion Assn., meeting at Holiday Inn Central, Dallas. With a record attendance of 350, BPA started off its three-day seminar by hearing a major address by a leading agency executive, William B. Lewis, board chairman of Kenyon & Eckhardt. Mr. Lewis made a powerful plea for better commercial practices in radio and television, proposing adoption of the English or "magazine" concept of bunching commercials to reduce the number of program interruptions (Broadcasting, Oct. 29). The commercial-cluster idea drew mixed reaction from management executives who participated in the WFAATV Dallas Let Me Speak to the Manager program (see story, page 65, also see story on reaction in New York, page 62). Many Panels ■ BPA's three-day meeting included two-dozen panel sessions in which guest speakers and association members worked over the practical problems that face promotion men. Unusual management participation marked the seminar, reflecting the closer ties developing between the front office and promotion department heads. The three tv networks held affiliate confer ences and social events. Opening the BPA seminar Oct. 29, Mr. Lewis made a strong plea for improvement of tv's image by promotion men, with improved programming and commercial techniques offering the basis for promotional effort. The widespread usage of millions of tv sets suggests tv's image is good right now with the preponderance of viewers, he said. He lauded radio, calling it "a worthwhile service of news and music, generating no great excitement, but presenting as many and as uninhibited commercials as the FCC and FTC will allow without license revocation." Aimed at Tv ■ His criticism of commercials was directed mainly at tv, and he called for stricter control of commercial content and scheduling. He said broadcasters should exercise the right of control "to the extent of lowering the decibel count of the more obnoxious hog-callers, of banning outright the commercials in palpably bad taste which irritate, antagonize or nauseate large segments of the viewing and listening public, and of adopting a scheme for eliminating program interruptions which has proven profitably feasible in England." The rewards, he said, will be a material increase in the value and image of the medium in the eyes of critics, the public and advertising customers. He illustrated the idea with K&E commercials and with excerpts from British and Italian programs, citing figures showing how commercial tv interests in England made a profit of $70 million before taxes in 1961 compared to $24.7 million for the three U. S. networks. Mr. Lewis expects important results from an NAB public reaction study to be conducted by Melvin A. Goldberg, NAB research vice president. If the study produces standards to guide broadcasters, he said, "it will be the most important step forward the broadcasting industry has taken in its brief but turbulent history." Bunker Urges Seminar ■ Edmund C. Bunker, president-elect of Radio Advertising Bureau, advocated an annual seminar of radio promotion executives to be held under RAB auspices. He offered the idea as a "trial balloon," he said, explaining, "the national sales techniques developed by RAB might then be exposed to station men . . ." RAB, he said, has always sold radio on the local and national levels and would continue to make available the local tools needed to do a truly professional job of promoting and selling radio. He felt the seminar might provide "that important something extra which can put promotion men in a position to take advantage of all of the discoveries the radio industry has made in our behalf." Mr. Bunker outlined RAB's Radio Test Plan, which takes "a long, hard look at a prospect's marketing problem." Service in Crisis ■ LeRoy Collins, Head table reception at BPA convention included (I to r): Frederick S. Gilbert, Time Inc. Broadcast Div.; Norman E. Cash, Television Bureau of Advertising; Marcus Bartlett, 58 WSB Atlanta; Jim Terrell, KTVT (TV) Dallas-Fort Worth; Edmund C. Bunker, Radio Advertising Bureau; Stephen Riddleberger, ABC Radio. BROADCASTING, November 5, 1S62