Top Ad Exec: End Barriers Between Technology, Creativity

Speaking at the Cannes Advertising Festival, top ad agency exec Bob Schmetterer said he is concerned that “the creativity of advertising and technology are being driven apart by growing misperceptions about the Internet and what it means.”

Bob Schmetterer, chairman and CEO ofEURO RSCG Worldwide, said that “the Internet puts communication strategy at the center of corporate strategy and puts before all of us a greater creative challenge than we’ve ever faced before.”

“The Internet not only extends the possibilities of the brand, it extends the possibilities of business — the definition of business,” he said.

He called for advertisers to start the creative process with a more fundamental question, asking about business ideas first instead of advertising ideas

“Advertising is no longer about advertising…Advertising is about integrated creative ideas…and interactivity is the key to integrated ideas,” he added.

Schmetterer, said that for the advertising industry to embrace the opportunities that technological innovation affords — in both new ways to touch consumers and new ways to strategically create powerful branding campaigns — “a marriage must take place, on a very deep level, between creative advertising ideas and technological innovation.”

“It means blowing apart the barriers that separate the best creative people in advertising and the Net experts … it means breaking down the very real walls in our agencies and in our companies … refocusing our most brilliant creative thinking on much bigger issues than ads, commercials, banners or Web sites.”

Schmetterer, an early proponent of integrating interactive advertising and marketing into the general agency structure, has been a keynote speaker at several @d:Tech conferences and most recently at the inaugural @d:Tech Europe.

New York City-based EURO RSCG Worldwide is the fifth largest agency network in the world and is a unit of Paris-based Havas Advertising Group, the world’s sixth-largest communications group.

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