With the sudden disappearance of the programs that they loyally patronized the bulk of the audience seemed to have been a dispersed lot. The situation provided an opportunity for the smaller media houses to make a strong bid to get a share of the unsettled audience. It gave rise to independent producers and block timers. The absence of a dominant media network made for lower cost efficiency of media plans of advertisers. Instead of concentrating media buys to a few highly rated placements it was necessary to buy in several low audience programs to satisfy the reach objectives of the media campaigns thus causing excessive frequency of exposures on audiences.
With several newcomers in the media industry, most of which were not financially stable, we were able to negotiate for generous early payment discounts, in addition to the other concessions of volume buying. This compensated for the inefficiency of media usage because of the prevailing situation. Considering that media had the largest budget allocation by the brands its contribution to the company coffers was substantial. This was a windfall since it was not accounted for in our projections. We argued for having the money ploughed back to the support budget but the Commercial Director ruled that the discounts were given on the basis of a monetary function. We got thanked for it but were not allowed to use it as additional support money for the brands.
I left media work when the opportunity to be seconded to a position outside PRC came about. The secondment entailed a promotion to senior management. On the first year of my appointment I was the youngest in the roster of senior managers, a distinction I enjoyed until the year end promotions brought in someone younger. There were some who were happy for my good fortune and as always, some not.
Joining me in the newly affiliated agency was a Brit named David Jones who came from J Walter Thompson where he was one of the creative directors servicing the Unilever account. He did not stay too long. Living a bohemian lifestyle, he couldn’t sustain the physical well-being and passionate spirit needed to be effective in his job as head creative person.
The added billings and the association with Unilever greatly increased their stature in the advertising industry. Later on after the Lintas affiliation was discontinued Gil would seek and would be successful in forging an affiliation with Leo Burnett. Under his management the agency prospered. I remember him inviting me to join and invest on the new affiliation long after I was recalled to Unilever. I was getting bored in Unisearch and was tempted to say yes to the invitation but Rey Alejandro dissuaded me from leaving since the economy was uncertain at that time. In retrospect, Rey had good judgment.
|L o R: Tom Garcia, David Jones, Gil Yuzon, Ed Roa|
My second time around in advertising was not lovelier. During my younger days in advertising I was creating advertising…getting scolded and praised for it, beating deadlines, delighting clients, burning the midnight oil but all the while enjoying every minute of it. As Vice President in Lintas I metamorphosed into an old fart, a stick in the mud who imposed rules on everyone. The rewards of seniority and higher responsibility, I suppose, would always have a tradeoff. Account servicing and managing the media department was easy enough to do. Where I failed was in making the creative people work effectively because I wielded the stone tablets.