LONDON: Addressing The Economist's seventh annual Marketing Directors' European Summit in London last week, McDonald's corporate vp of global marketing, Johan Jervoe, stunned Web 2.0 Holy-Grailers as he warned of the dangers of marketing brands via YouTube and similar social networking media.

To do so, he said, forces marketers to relinquish control of how their brands are perceived by consumers and poses significant risks in moving from a 'push' to a 'pull' advertising model.

His comments came during a panel discussion with other marketers on such current arcana as ...

  • The interactive fully empowered customer - are new levels of communication and branding required? 
  • Sustainability as an internal/external value proposition; can it add competitive advantage and bottom-line benefits? 
  • Do companies now have to "live the brand" in order to convey their message effectively?
"Achieving brand advocacy is the biggest challenge facing marketers," Jervoe opined. "The ultimate goal is getting consumers to trust your brand and talk about it without you asking them to."

He then astonished audience and co-panelists alike by confessing to the ultimate marketing heresy: That most of his colleagues in the McDonald's marketing department "don't even know that YouTube exists"! 

A statement that ought immediately to trigger a flurry of marketing 'help wanted' ads.

Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff