Three Present Problems

Paul C. Harper, Jr.
Needham, Harper & Steers, Inc

The other day at lunch I was talking to a major advertiser, well known for his strong views. Like most advertisers, and I think all of us here in this room, he is increasingly worried about advertising costs. He said to me, “The crux of the cost problem is in the buying function. More flexible, opportunistic buying practices will allow us to cut costs. You agency people are too set in your ways to give us this, too locked into the details of the marketing plan. That's why we are going to try out a buying service.”

That same afternoon, I was in a client's office talking about the same subject. This man said, “I don't know how you can separate buying from planning. Our spot buy program is a direct-line extension of our whole marketing plan. I want the organization that wrote the plan to execute it.”

God bless our client. Because I agree with him.