Screwing With The Magic

Uh oh…

There’s been a lot of heat generated lately by the keynote speaker at this year’s NAB, who — supposedly — said that internet ads don’t work.

I don’t really want to get into an argument about that, though I clearly fall on the side of those who believe that Radio is vastly undervalued for its effectiveness and that there is a lot of hype surrounding the value of advertising online, hype mainly generated by online companies.

Supposedly, Mel Karmazin, then running VIACOM*, visited Google in 2003 to find out more about what they do and how they make so much money doing it.

As he listened to the Google guys explain how they can track and analyze every part of online advertising, Mel became more and more alarmed.

See, Radio had always done really well without science showing precisely which spots — which stations — worked best and which didn’t.

Finally, allegedly, he busted out with, “You’re f***king with the magic!”

If you have a few free minutes, this story is really entertaining: We Have No Idea If Online Ads Work, from Slate.






* full disclosure: I once worked for Viacom and still own stock in the company.